Democrats Are Reportedly Preparing To Request Trump’s Tax Returns, Probing Fraud

House investigators are ratcheting up the pressure on President Trump, and they are reportedly preparing to cross his financial red line.
Donald Trump stands with Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (AP)

Donald Trump stands with Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (AP)

1. House Democrats seeking Trump’s tax returns: President Trump has long said that if Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigated his finances, it would cross a “red line.” Well, it appears that House Democrats are gearing up to do just that. NBC News reported that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) has instructed the committee’s attorneys to prepare a request to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for President Trump’s tax returns. The request could be sent in the next few weeks and is reportedly seeking 10 years of Trump’s personal tax returns in order to determine if any tax fraud took place. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office released a statement today that claimed the House “has legitimate legislative, oversight and legal reasons to review the President’s tax returns… We will take all necessary steps, including litigation, if necessary, to obtain them.”

There has already been some reporting on Donald Trump’s alleged history of tax fraud. In a bombshell report this past October, The New York Times reported that Donald Trump received, at least, the equivalent of $413 million from his father’s real estate empire. The Times alleged the Trump family used shady methods, sometimes constituting fraud, to funnel money to one another. The Times obtained a trove of documents, including Fred Trump’s tax returns. This was the most extensive look into the Trump family’s finances yet, and it painted an incriminating picture of fraud and appeared to further prove that Donald Trump is not a self-made billionaire.

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While the Ways and Means Committee follows this thread, House investigators are following the bread crumbs laid out by Cohen. On Wednesday, a line of questioning from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and other House Oversight Democrats, made the case for subpoenaing Trump’s tax and business records. Cohen testified that Trump inflated his assets to insurance companies and may have committed tax evasion. House Democrats are now calling on Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. The House Oversight Committee is seeking testimony from Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump. Michael Cohen will return to testify before House Intel on March 6th, and Russian mob-connected Trump associate Felix Sater will testify before the committee on March 14.

The House Oversight Committee is also probing how Jared Kushner’s security clearance was issued after reports indicated President Trump bypassed concerns of intelligence officials to grant Kushner’s clearance. Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) appeared to issue an ultimatum to be complied with by March 4:

“I am now writing a final time to request your voluntary cooperation with this investigation. I ask that you begin producing all responsive documents immediately, and I request that you begin scheduling transcribed interviews with each witness identified by the Committee.”

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Rundown // Donald Trump / House Democrats / Tax Fraud