Two House Republicans Join Democratic Effort Demanding Trump Release Tax Returns

Jacquelyn Martin / Bruce Smith / Associated Press

Two Republican congressmen are supporting an attempt by Democrats to force the House and Senate committees responsible for internal revenue to request that President Trump releases his tax returns.

Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Walter Jones (R-NC) signed a letter written by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), and signed by the majority of the Democratic caucus, urging the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to demand a copy of Trump’s tax returns dating back to 2007.

“We believe the powerful and respected Committees on Finance and Ways and Means have the responsibility to ensure oversight of the executive branch by requesting a review of President Trump’s tax returns and moving toward a formal release of these documents to the public,” the letter reads.

However, the letter is unlikely to be successful given that the chairmen of both committees have previously ruled out demanding the tax returns. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said that the priority of Congress was to “fix America’s broken tax code – not to target the tax returns of individual citizens.”

Meanwhile, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) cited privacy concerns, arguing that “if Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of a president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans.”

President Trump has consistently rejected calls to release tax returns, with his former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway telling ABC in January “that President Trump and his family are complying with all the ethical rules, everything they need to do to step away from his businesses. and be a full-time president.”

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