On Wednesday, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said if Democrats win back the House in November "one of the first things" the party would do is demand President Donald Trump show his tax returns. In an hour-long interview with the San Francisco Chronicle Pelosi discussed the future of the Democratic party, appearing to sound confident that Democrats would take control of the House and her position as House Leader was all but guaranteed.
"I believe we would win if the election was today," she told paper. While Pelosi has faced opposition from within her own party with many saying they would not vote for her, she said, "I believe I will be speaker if we win."
In regard to the President’s tax returns Pelosi said it would not be an act of revenge for how President Trump and the GOP leaders have treated the Democratic party for the past two years. Pelosi sees it as an oversight by Congress and there needs to be a "co-equal body of government. We have to have the truth."
President Trump has refused to release his tax returns since running for President. He first argued he was being audited and then that voters don’t care. The GOP-led Congress have kept is records private, regularly voting down Democratic efforts to make Trump hand them over.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. tried once again Thursday to force President Donald Trump to release his income tax returns. And once again walked away empty-handed.
The Republican majority on the House Ways and Means Committee turned down Pascrell’s latest motion, as it has his previous attempts to force the president to follow a 40-year precedent and release his financial information.
Pascrell, argued for Trump’s personal and business returns to be examined, "How can we debate tax reform proposals without seeing the president’s tax returns? […] Congress has the authority and the duty to obtain and review President Trump’s tax returns to ensure there are no potential conflicts of interest in the tax policies he is proposing."
However, The Ways and Means Committee – the chief tax-writing committee – voted 21 to 14 to reject the New Jersey Democrat’s motion.
On October 2, the New York Times released an expose on Trump’s suspect tax schemes in the 1990s:
Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.
The Times found the dubious schemes was met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS), with the Trump’s only paying around five percent tax.
President Trump’s tax returns may prove to be his downfall if Democrats do take the House come November. The oversight committee chairs have the power to issue subpoenas for the tax returns and financial records of Trump’s business dealings, which have continued to operate and do business with the federal government causing concerns about conflict of interest. Finally, the Trump presidency could be held accountable.
"[Democrats] will never negotiate away our values," Pelosi said.