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  #1  
Old 04-04-2019, 10:13 AM
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Trump taxes requested


https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/04/polit...ret/index.html

I wonder what kind of logic a judge will use to deny this request.
  #2  
Old 04-04-2019, 10:32 AM
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The same logic most every lawyer employs.

Twisted.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:51 AM
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I'm anxiously awaiting the textualists to explain why the plain text of law should be ignored in this case. Let me guess: because HER EMAILS!!!
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:54 AM
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I'm not clear from the article - what is the legal basis for the request?
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:58 AM
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"The panel’s chairman was able to make the request because of a 1924 law that gives the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee broad powers to request and receive the tax returns of any American."

House Ways And Means, that is.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...=.ba71e319c62c
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:59 AM
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Can't edit: I repeated the name of the committee because I thought it was left out.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:10 PM
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I'm not clear from the article - what is the legal basis for the request?
As per Chairman Neal's letter, he states, "Pursuant to my authority under Internal Revenue Code section 6103(f),..."

From what I remember, this law/provision/statute was enacted because of the Teapot Dome scandal, which implicated not only the President, but the Secretary of the Treasury, who was the only person at the time authorized to see other people's tax returns.

Last edited by SingleMalt; 04-04-2019 at 12:12 PM. Reason: speling
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:21 PM
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My prediction: The request will denied or ignored and, if necessary, the Republicans will try to find a way to assist the President in blocking this request.
Another prediction: Water will continue to be wet for the foreseeable future.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:32 PM
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I'm not clear from the article - what is the legal basis for the request?
This is my opinion, and not speaking for Richard Neal, but I think Congress ought to ask some questions if a particular individual has been under IRS audit for their entire lives, as Trump makes it out to be. We shouldn't stand for taxpayer harassment, so if his tax returns seem normal, Congress should tell the IRS to stop wasting its time with law-abiding Presidents.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:44 PM
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"The panel’s chairman was able to make the request because of a 1924 law that gives the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee broad powers to request and receive the tax returns of any American."
So, I presume that the next step is for Senate Finance chair Oren Hatch to request House Ways and Means chair Richard E. Neal's taxes under the same authority.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:52 PM
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"The panel’s chairman was able to make the request because of a 1924 law that gives the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee broad powers to request and receive the tax returns of any American."

House Ways And Means, that is.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...=.ba71e319c62c
Thanks. Looked up the actual code based on the link you provided. This should be interesting.

Seems pretty straightforward actually and I wasn't aware of this law. I wonder if executive privilege will be invoked.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:56 PM
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So, I presume that the next step is for Senate Finance chair Oren Hatch to request House Ways and Means chair Richard E. Neal's taxes under the same authority.
I'd take that trade, so probably would Mr. Neal.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:57 PM
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...I wonder if executive privilege will be invoked.
Executive privilege refers to the necessary secrecy for a President performing his official duties. Actions that occurred outside of his tenure do not qualify. Not even for Donald, of House Harkonnen, worst of his name....

Last edited by elucidator; 04-04-2019 at 12:58 PM.
  #14  
Old 04-04-2019, 12:57 PM
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Thanks. Looked up the actual code based on the link you provided. This should be interesting.

Seems pretty straightforward actually and I wasn't aware of this law. I wonder if executive privilege will be invoked.
I'm sure it would be, although it shouldn't work. Particularly given that this statute was written with members of the Executive branch as targets in mind.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:00 PM
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Or in theory the position of Secretary can be left vacant so no one could fill that request.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:01 PM
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My prediction: The request will denied or ignored and, if necessary, the Republicans will try to find a way to assist the President in blocking this request.
Another prediction: Water will continue to be wet for the foreseeable future.
It'll be ignored, but the House could censure and censure and censure. Trump and the Senate GOP are betting that people might not care that much, but there could be some bad optics by repeatedly refusing to show tax returns, particularly when most other presidential candidates and former presidents release their tax returns routinely. Releasing returns isn't required, but it's consistent with the principle of transparency. Have people in this country stopped caring about transparency? That might be the question to ask.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:03 PM
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Thanks. Looked up the actual code based on the link you provided. This should be interesting.

Seems pretty straightforward actually and I wasn't aware of this law. I wonder if executive privilege will be invoked.
I don't see how executive privilege has anything to do with the president's tax returns. He'll probably ignore the request, which in turn could prompt the House to threaten a censure or perhaps even a contempt charge - not that a sitting president can be indicted, though.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:08 PM
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I don't see how executive privilege has anything to do with the president's tax returns. He'll probably ignore the request, which in turn could prompt the House to threaten a censure or perhaps even a contempt charge - not that a sitting president can be indicted, though.
Anything that cannot not take money from him and/or remove him from office can and will be ignored.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:13 PM
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I thought the request went to the IRS. Why does Trump have anything to do with it?
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:22 PM
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I thought the request went to the IRS. Why does Trump have anything to do with it?
This. I recall hearing at some point that the head of the IRS has already said that after consulting with their own (the IRS’s) lawyers, if the request was found to not violate the law that they would release the requested record. The only way I see Trump could interfere is if he were to fire the head of the IRS and replace him or her with someone who would refuse to comply with the request.

ETA. Again I’m relying on my memory, but IIRC part of the law states that the documents have to remain private. If so then the Democrats need to make damn sure none of the information leaks.

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 04-04-2019 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:23 PM
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To be clear - the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee can request the tax returns of any American, at any time, for any reason? So Chuck Grassley could just say, "I feel like having a peek at Jussie Smollett's tax returns - fork them over"?

Hmm.

As I have mentioned, everyone might want to keep in mind that genies are notoriously hard to get back into bottles.

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Old 04-04-2019, 01:26 PM
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I'd take that trade, so probably would Mr. Neal.
OK, perhaps Hatch requests the Clinton's taxes. As Shodan quite rightly points out, this could indeed be difficult to contain once released.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:28 PM
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As I have mentioned, everyone might want to keep in mind that genies are notoriously hard to get back into bottles.
We could say the same thing about the nuclear option being invoked in the Senate several times now, but no conservatives are currently wringing their hands about that genie.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:28 PM
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To be clear - the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee can request the tax returns of any American, at any time, for any reason? So Chuck Grassley could just say, "I feel like having a peek at Jussie Smollett's tax returns - fork them over"?

Hmm.

As I have mentioned, everyone might want to keep in mind that genies are notoriously hard to get back into bottles.

Regards,
Shodan
This has always been a rule. It dates back to 1924, I believe, arising out of the Tea Pot Dome scandal.

The genie is already out of the bottle, and Chuck Grassley has always had this power. Stop acting like this is something new.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:40 PM
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This has always been a rule. It dates back to 1924, I believe, arising out of the Tea Pot Dome scandal.

The genie is already out of the bottle, and Chuck Grassley has always had this power. Stop acting like this is something new.
Not aware that it has been used before, although I am open to correction.

But much of my point is, if this lawsuit is upheld, it would be naive to expect that anyone is going to pay the slightest bit of attention when the Democrats yell "no backsies!"

What goes around, comes around. And turn about is, in fact, fair play.

Regards,
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:48 PM
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Not aware that it has been used before, although I am open to correction.

But much of my point is, if this lawsuit is upheld, it would be naive to expect that anyone is going to pay the slightest bit of attention when the Democrats yell "no backsies!"

What goes around, comes around. And turn about is, in fact, fair play.

Regards,
Shodan
This would make sense if someone even implied that there was some sort of deal -- "Don't do it to us, and we won't do it to you."

But as the present crop of Republican politicians (considered as a group, at least) have made clear, they feel justified in taking any action that is legally allowed, or can be argued for. There is no sort of deal or understanding. In fact, now that the idea has been brought up, even if Democrats were not to exercise this option, there's nothing to prevent Republicans, when next they are in power, to use the same tool.

There's really no compelling reason for the Democrats not to push this button. It's not as if not using it will prevent the Republicans from doing it.


"No backsies"? Why worry if they might well do it anyway?
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Last edited by CalMeacham; 04-04-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:51 PM
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Not aware that it has been used before, although I am open to correction.
I'm looking for cites (and not finding them, because all Google wants to return is stories about the request for Trump returns), but while watching MSNBC last night, I heard mention of this sort of request being made several times in the 1970s, at least. I remember that they mentioned three people's returns, in particular; the two names I can remember with certainty are Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller, and I think that the other was Richard Nixon.

Also, various articles I'm finding indicate that the request actually goes to the Secretary of the Treasury (Steve Mnuchin), as he has responsibility for the IRS.

Edit: this Washington Post article from 2017 mentions the Nixon situation. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...=.86695f6cad06

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-04-2019 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:55 PM
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Not aware that it has been used before, although I am open to correction.

But much of my point is, if this lawsuit is upheld, it would be naive to expect that anyone is going to pay the slightest bit of attention when the Democrats yell "no backsies!"

What goes around, comes around. And turn about is, in fact, fair play.
This could definitely prove a liability someday if the Democrats ever consider making a corrupt con man who refuses to reveal his tax returns the leader of the party.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:56 PM
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[QUOTE=CalMeacham;21574339]...
There's really no compelling reason for the Democrats not to push this button. .../QUOTE]

What about the fact that Trump, man of honor, has said that he was going to ha ha ha release his taxes as soon as the "audit" was over, hmm?
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:59 PM
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Not aware that it has been used before, although I am open to correction.

But much of my point is, if this lawsuit is upheld, it would be naive to expect that anyone is going to pay the slightest bit of attention when the Democrats yell "no backsies!"

What goes around, comes around. And turn about is, in fact, fair play.

Regards,
Shodan
This document should clear up your confusion about what rule is being invoked, and you'll be pleased to learn that in response to (Republican) Nixon's abuses of power under 26 U.S. Code § 6103, it was reformed in 1976 to not allow flagrant misuse such as you fear.

By the way, can you point me to what "lawsuit" has been filed? I'm aware only that a lawful request has been made by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to the lawful agency of the IRS for submission of tax returns to which they are entitled to ensure lawful oversight of the Executive.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:33 PM
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Not aware that it has been used before, although I am open to correction.
Ha, this is adorable. It's used all the time.
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Congress invokes Section 6103(f) routinely to allow the JCT staff and Government Accountability Office to obtain tax data in bulk for the purpose of analyzing proposed tax legislation and performing audits of the IRS, respectively. The authority was used as part of congressional investigations as recently as 2013 and 2014, as the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee explored allegations of political bias in the IRS’ handling of conservative-leaning groups’ applications for recognition of tax-exempt status.
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Originally Posted by Shodan
What goes around, comes around.
The thing is, it is not a particularly alarming prospect for non-crook Presidential candidates to have their tax returns potentially available for request by Congressional committees. Because they disclose their tax returns publicly anyway:
Quote:
As far as we know, Congress has never invoked Section 6103(f) to obtain a president’s tax returns; over the last four decades, it has not been necessary. Every president, and, indeed, every major party nominee for president, voluntarily released his or her tax returns to the public—until Donald Trump—and no recent president before President Trump maintained such extensive business holdings while in office. Instead, recent presidents have placed their investment portfolios in blind trusts.
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it would be naive to expect that anyone is going to pay the slightest bit of attention when the Democrats yell "no backsies!"
What's naive is you sitting there chortling gleefully at the imagined prospect of Democrats suddenly being blindsided by some mean old Congressional committee demanding that they turn over their tax returns which they routinely disclose to the public anyway.

Honestly, Shodan, sometimes you let your ignorance combined with your desire to show off as a cynical political sophisticate lead you into some very silly posturing.
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Old 04-04-2019, 03:01 PM
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This could definitely prove a liability someday if the Democrats ever consider making a corrupt con man who refuses to reveal his tax returns the leader of the party.
You're missing the point, which is that it is going to be a liability for everybody, not just politicians, and especially not just for politicians the Dems don't like.
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Ha, this is adorable. It's used all the time.
It's interesting that you should post a cite, and then post something that contradicts it.
Quote:
As far as we know, Congress has never invoked Section 6103(f) to obtain a president’s tax returns...
So, no, it has never been used this way.

I wonder if you recognize that.
Quote:
What's naive is you sitting there chortling gleefully at the imagined prospect of Democrats suddenly being blindsided by some mean old Congressional committee demanding that they turn over their tax returns which they routinely disclose to the public anyway.
Really? Could you cite where, for instance, Nancy Keenan has released her tax returns?
Quote:
Honestly, Shodan, sometimes you let your ignorance combined with your desire to show off as a cynical political sophisticate lead you into some very silly posturing.
You shouldn't let yourself get so upset.

Regards,
Shodan
  #33  
Old 04-04-2019, 03:08 PM
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I predict that House Ways and Means Committee vs Donald Trump will be decided in the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote. Chief Justice Roberts' will be the only vote in doubt.

Any gamblers in the house?
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Old 04-04-2019, 03:39 PM
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Really? Could you cite where, for instance, Nancy Keenan has released her tax returns?
I don't remember her being a major presidential candidate before.

Oh wait, I see that you specifically quoted every single part of that post except for that fact that Kimstu was referring to presidential candidates.
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Old 04-04-2019, 03:42 PM
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The taxes weren't requested, they were demanded. The law is clear, the IRS must hand them over. If it goes to a court fight, the Democrats will win. I think it will be 8-1, or even 9-0 if Kavanaugh is sober.
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Old 04-04-2019, 03:57 PM
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Even FOX says it's the law.
Quote:
President Trump once again said on Wednesday he's not "inclined" to release his tax returns because he says they're under audit — but even Fox News believes his hands are probably tied at this point.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, has formally requested Trump's tax returns in a letter to the IRS, but the president batted down the suggestion, per The New York Times.

Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano on Thursday concluded that an audit doesn't matter, saying the "obscure statute" Neal cited says the committee can ask for anyone's tax returns without needing a reason. He also said that Trump's taxes being under audit would "not be a defense," and he wasn't sure what the legal argument against releasing them would be, per Mediaite.

Fox's analyst was in agreement with one over on MSNBC, with Jake Sherman saying on Morning Joe that it's the law that the committee "has the unilateral right to obtain any American's tax returns." Sherman noted that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can perhaps "put up some roadblocks" by saying Trump is under audit, but he noted that "this is the law." MSNBC's Willie Geist, meanwhile, mocked the very idea that Trump is still under audit after years, quipping, "This is the longest audit in the history of audits, if in fact there is an audit." Earlier, Hardball's Chris Matthews said the situation is "black and white" because the law requires Trump to turn over his taxes when requested.
....
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:06 PM
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Alexandri Ocasio-Cortez seems rather confident that Trump has no say in the matter. (Me, I have no idea.)
https://twitter.com/AOC/status/11135...7Ctwgr%5Etweet

"Congress: “We’re going to need a copy of the President’s tax returns from 2013-2018.”

45: “No, I’m ‘under audit.’ ”

Congress: “We didn’t ask you.”
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:08 PM
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(Can't edit again for some reason.)
Ahem: Alexandria
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:50 PM
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This is entirely non-controversial to anyone who doesn't support Trump. Even previous Republicans have all shown their taxes. There is no reason for anyone who does not support Trump to even worry about showing his taxes.

There is no "genie" involved here. Congress is simply using the tools at their disposal to do an investigation. We are investigating a corrupt politician. No one who isn't a corrupt politician has any reason to be worried about this. They're just going to release their tax returns, to prove they aren't corrupt.

There is no reason for anti-Trump Republicans and Democrats to be on opposite sides on this. There is no reason to make excuses for the Republicans from the previous Congress refusing to do this. They did it for exactly one reason: they're scared of Trump supporters not voting for them, while the Democrats have the luxury of not worrying about that.

There is no reason for partisan bickering in defense of Trump. He's just a RINO. He's the guy you want to remove from the Republican Party, and discredit everything he stands for.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:03 PM
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This is entirely non-controversial to anyone who doesn't support Trump. Even previous Republicans have all shown their taxes. There is no reason for anyone who does not support Trump to even worry about showing his taxes.
Shodan seems to disagree. He has, indeed, implied ("the GOP Senate will ask for everybody's taxes!!!11!"-- paraphrasing, there) a threat. Not a serious threat-- I don't believe Shodan is a Senator. But it's an argument based on a threat that Shodan's party can carry out. And I'm curious why he thinks asking for Nadler's tax returns is equivalent to asking for Trump's.

I suspect that I will not hear anything substantial about Nadler's record in any reply this gets.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:47 PM
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To slightly dampen the enthusiasm of the teeming millions, it should be pointed out that just because Congress gets to look at the returns doesn't mean we get to. I'm not a lawyer but reading over the statue that was linked to above, it appears that it is required to be released in a closed door session and it is illegal for any employee of officer of the US government (which as assume includes members of congress) to reveal them or any of the information contained inside.

Of course that doesn't mean that they can't use the information there in to ask further questions that might be made public, say for example subpoena Deutsche Bank and ask whether or not there might not have been a loan paid off on say November 21st 2016, and where the money to pay it off came from.
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:56 PM
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Shodan seems to disagree. He has, indeed, implied ("the GOP Senate will ask for everybody's taxes!!!11!"-- paraphrasing, there) a threat. Not a serious threat-- I don't believe Shodan is a Senator. But it's an argument based on a threat that Shodan's party can carry out. And I'm curious why he thinks asking for Nadler's tax returns is equivalent to asking for Trump's.

I suspect that I will not hear anything substantial about Nadler's record in any reply this gets.
Well, I myself am concerned for all those future presidents who refuse to show their returns and provide bullshit reasons for not doing so while demonstrating repeated and clear indications of conflict of interest and acceptance of emoluments. Who's thinking of them?

Last edited by guizot; 04-04-2019 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:08 PM
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Ooh, does this mean that we can go back to calling all political scandals "_____ Dome" again? The -gate suffix is getting boring.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:30 PM
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To slightly dampen the enthusiasm of the teeming millions, it should be pointed out that just because Congress gets to look at the returns doesn't mean we get to. ...
I want the public to see the Mueller Report. I don't really care if the public gets to see the tax returns. I want the Democrats in the House to see those.
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:21 PM
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Looks like the head of the IRS, Charles Rettig, is just "some guy" that was already part of the upper-level IRS apparatus, with no particular connection to Trump and probably no strong job prospect worries. So unless he's a surprise MAGA-hat, I imagine that the most he'll do is plead a labor shortage and tell them that it will take a few weeks to scrounge the documents up.

I would expect the principal angle for defense, if Trump chooses to fight it, would be to plead unconstitutionality. For example, he could take the Roe v. Wade defense and say that his tax returns should be private on the basis of the penumbra of privacy enshrined into the Bill of Rights. But I assume that there are any other number of angles he could take, given that he is aware of the request and lives in a country where you can take pretty much anything whatsoever to court and, given that he's the President, it would be unlikely that the court would decide that the argument was too stupid to allow to proceed to trial.

Though, whether Trump will fight it or not...who knows? On the one hand, he's already had the FBI go through all of it and take everything that there possibly is to take to convict him of criminal activities out and note it down. At this point, he's already boned in every way that really matters. But, Trump probably fears embarrassment more than he fears jail, so the big question will be: Just how embarrassing are the numbers in his returns? How much debt is he in?
  #46  
Old 04-04-2019, 07:41 PM
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The most sensible way to fight it would be to argue that it's unconstitutional, either under the "penumbra of privacy" or self-incrimination grounds.

But this is Trump we're talking about. When he fights it, it's probably going to be on grounds of executive privilege, which in his mind means "Trump gets to do whatever he wants".
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
Just how embarrassing are the numbers in his returns? How much debt is he in?
Tax returns show income, not debt.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Tax returns show income, not debt.
They also show how creative the filer is with using loopholes.

What do you think the odds are that his tax returns are the one thing about Trump that's on the level?
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Tax returns show income, not debt.
Given that Trump was able to get away without paying taxes, due to having gone bankrupt, I presume that there's somewhere in there that you're able to scribble a debt or two in.

Hell, once you've figured out that you can go tax free for a decade after a bankruptcy, it might make sense to take yourself bankrupt every decade or so. Overspend to some fake businesses until you're out of money and then, after bankruptcy proceedings, turn around and have those businesses come back to you as some big customers.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 04-04-2019 at 09:00 PM.
  #50  
Old 04-04-2019, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Tax returns show income, not debt.
If you own a business, you can write off certain debts on your tax returns, so your statement is incorrect.
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