Trump on prospect of Dems demanding his tax returns: ‘They can do whatever they want’
President Trump on Monday downplayed the possibility that Democrats could demand his tax returns if they retake control of the House in Tuesday’s elections.
“I don’t care. They can do whatever they want and I can do whatever I want,” Trump said when asked if he was concerned Democrats may go after his tax returns if they win the majority.
Trump spoke to reporters upon arriving in Fort Wayne, Ind., for one of three campaign rallies he was set to hold on Monday. He suggested that a Democratic majority would force the White House to “have to work a little bit differently.”
“It’ll all work out but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Trump said, expressing confidence in Republicans’ chances on Tuesday. “I think we’re doing very well in the House. I think we’re doing very well in the Senate.”
Democrats and critics of the president have suggested that Trump’s tax returns could reveal potential conflicts of interest, and liberal groups have urged Democratic lawmakers to demand the president’s filings should they regain control of the House.
Under federal tax law, the chairmen of congressional tax committees can request tax returns from the Treasury Department and review them in a closed session before voting to make all or parts of the returns public.
While Trump may protest such a request, the decision would ultimately fall to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Mnuchin told The New York Times earlier this month that he would work with the department’s general counsel and the general counsel for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to address any requests should Democrats win the House.
The president broke with decades of precedent when he opted not to release his tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The White House has repeatedly brushed off questions about releasing Trump’s taxes after the election, claiming the documents were under audit and therefore could not be made public. Financial experts, reporters and lawmakers have noted that the president could still request that they be released.
Calls for Trump to release his returns intensified following a New York Times report that cited records and interviews indicating the president engaged in “dubious” tax practices to shield income from his father’s real estate empire from taxes. Trump and the White House blasted the story, though they did not refute specific claims.