US House Democrats to decide whether to release Trump’s tax information

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A Democratic-led US House of Representatives committee on Tuesday is due to decide whether to release details of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, after a years-long court fight and just two weeks before their party surrenders power to Republicans.

The House Ways and Means Committee is due to examine them behind closed doors at 3 p.m.

ET (2000 GMT), the day after the House probe of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters urged the Justice Department to prosecute the Republican for his role in sparking the riot.

Trump, unlike previous presidential candidates, refused to make his tax returns public as he sought to keep secret the details of his wealth and the activities of his real estate company, the Trump Organisation, and he fought Democrats ‘efforts to get access to them.

Candidates are not required by law to release their tax returns, but previous presidential hopefuls of both parties have voluntarily done so for several decades.

Trump’s tax returns are still subject to confidentiality restrictions, but Democrats who control the committee could vote to make some details public.

Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee have said they need to see those records to assess whether the Internal Revenue Service is properly auditing presidential tax returns and to gauge whether new legislation is needed.

The committee’s chairman, Representative Richard Neal, has not said whether he supports making them public.

They have little time to act, as Republicans are due to take control of the committee, along with the full House, in January.

Another House committee on Monday asked federal prosecutors to charge Trump with obstruction and insurrection for sparking the deadly Capitol attack.

Republicans are expected to dissolver redirect that panel when they take control of the chamber.

Release of any financial details could lead to more unwelcome scrutiny for Trump as he seeks the Republican nomination to run for the White House again in 2024.

Trump, who served as president from 2017 to 2021, reported heavy losses from his business enterprises over several years to offset hundreds of millions of dollars in income, according to news media reporting and trial testimony about his finances. That allowed him to pay very little in taxes.

The Trump Organisation was found guilty on Dec. 6 in New York of carrying out a 15-year criminal scheme to defraud tax authorities.

The company faces up to $1.6 million in fines, though Trump himself is not personally liable. He has said the case was politically motivated and the company plans to appeal.

He also faces a separate fraud suit in New York that accuses him of artificially inflating the value of his assets.

During his presidency, he faced persistent questions about conflicts of interest, as foreign dignitaries and Republican Party officials spent money in his luxury hotels.