Six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns could soon be made public following a years-long legal battle.
The Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee will meet later Tuesday afternoon to privately review returns for Trump, 76, and some of his businesses between 2013 and 2018 after the Supreme Court ruled last month that the records should be turned over to the panel.
Committee members can then vote to include the information in a report to Congress, which would be made public. Democrats are under pressure to expedite the release of the records before the GOP takes control of the House on Jan. 3.
The high court released the returns to the Ways and Means Committee after agreeing that the panel needed them to evaluate the IRS’ mandatory audits of presidents and vice presidents.
“Nearly four years ago, the Ways and Means Committee set out to fulfill our legislative and oversight responsibilities, and evaluate the Internal Revenue Service’s mandatory audit program,” committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said in a statement last week.
“As affirmed by the Supreme Court, the law was on our side, and on Tuesday, I will update the members of the Committee,” Neal pledged.
Trump went on the offensive ahead of the expected revelation, writing Sunday on his Truth Social platform that his company was “strong on deductions and depreciation.”
“You will be seeing these numbers soon, but not all from my tax returns, which show relatively little,” the 45th president wrote.
Trump also claimed it was illegal to release the returns without his permission, but the tax code allows the Ways and Means Committee to include otherwise private information in a public report.
Earlier this month in Manhattan, the Trump Organization was convicted of 17 counts of tax fraud, falsifying business records, conspiracy, and other crimes for helping its executives cheat the IRS.
The former president was not personally implicated in the ruling, but his longtime accountant, Donald Bender, testified that Trump reported losses on his returns for 10 straight years, and was in the red to the tune of nearly $700 million in 2009 and $200 million in 2010.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said last month that his office was investigating Trump’s personal finances after Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., subpoenaed accounting firm Mazars USA in 2019 for eight years of documents.
Trump is also facing a fraud lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James over allegations he lied to tax officials about the value of his assets.
The Republican former president and current candidate broke with tradition in 2016 by not voluntarily releasing his returns, famously saying during a debate that year that avoiding paying taxes “makes me smart.”
In 2020, the developer pushed back on a New York Times report that he paid only $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017 after claiming tens of millions of dollars in business losses.
The average US taxpayer shelled out $12,200 to Uncle Sam in 2017, according to IRS figures.
The top Republican on the panel said the potential release of the returns was a “political weapon that reaches far beyond President Trump and jeopardizes the privacy of every American.”
“Going forward, partisans in Congress have nearly unlimited power to target political enemies by obtaining and making public their private tax returns to embarrass and destroy them,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said in a statement.
“We urge Democrats, in their rush to target former President Trump, not to unleash this dangerous new political weapon on the American people.”
Tuesday’s Ways and Means Committee meeting comes a day after the select panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol recommended that prosecutors charge him with four counts related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
With Post wires