Breaking: House Democrats Vote To Release Years of Trump’s Tax Returns

On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines, determining that they will release years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

The Democrat-controlled committee outvoted a Republican dissent in taking the action. This move comes a day after Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) voted alongside seven Democrats on the House January 6th Committee, recommending criminal charges against the former president.

“This is one of the most important votes I will ever cast as a member of Congress, and I stand by it 100 percent,” Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania said, according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the committee, slammed the committee’s decision: “What was clear today is that public disclosure of President Trump’s private tax returns has nothing to do with the stated purpose of reviewing the I.R.S. presidential audit process.”

The materials are expected to include Trump’s tax filings for the years 2015-2020, CNN reported. This will also include audits and tax information on eight of Trump’s businesses, and will be accompanied by a supplemental summary from the Joint Committee on Taxation. 

It’s unclear when the documents will be released, as the returns must be redacted for sensitive personal material, such as social security numbers. The process of censoring them may take several days.

Much of Trump’s financial history as recorded in his tax returns has already been reported on in two separate stories from the New York Times, one released in 2018 and one in 2020.

The release of an American’s private tax returns by Congress is extremely rare. Democrats attempting to get at Trump’s tax returns, which the former president has fought for years, is complicated further by Trump’s announcement that he intends to run for president again in 2024. 

When the Ways and Means Committee sued to get Trump’s tax returns in 2019, Brady warned Democrats against releasing them and creating a “dangerous new political weapon,” according to the Associated Press.

“Our concern is not whether the president should have made his tax returns public, as is traditional, nor about the accuracy of his tax returns,” Brady said. “Our concern is that, if taken, this committee action will set a terrible precedent that unleashes a dangerous new political weapon that reaches far beyond the former president and overturns decades of privacy protections for average Americans that have existed since the Watergate reforms.”