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Trump’s tax returns: Leaked strategy reveals GOP plotting all-out battle to keep them secret

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Treasury Department officials are planning ways to keep President Donald Trump’s personal tax returns away from Democratic lawmakers.

A handful of top political appointees and lawyers are developing a strategy to counter Democratic subpoenas and prevent the IRS from turning over those documents, four sources told Politico.

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Officials will accuse Democrats of seeking the documents to then leak to the public, which would be a felony, and then argue that Trump’s opponents cannot be trusted enough to see the documents in the first place.

“We are worried about leaks,” one source told the website. “Once we share it with any member of Congress, we assume it becomes a public document.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will review any request for the returns, which administration officials have been expecting since Democrats took over the House last month, and could potentially reject them and plunge the executive and legislative branches into an extended and unprecedented legal fight.

“What happens if the Treasury secretary just doesn’t answer or sends back a note saying we refuse to do what you are saying?” said George Yin, a former chief of staff on the House Joint Committee on Taxation. “To my knowledge, that has never happened … We are essentially in uncharted territory if he refuses.”

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Presidential candidates typically release their tax information during campaigns, but Trump has cited an ongoing IRS audit and shielded his returns from public view.

The Internal Revenue Code gives the three congressional committees responsible for taxes the authority to request returns for any individual or business, but the contents of those documents must remain private.

Federal employees who reveal that information can face felony charges punishable for up to five years in prison.

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However, the House Ways and Means Committee could vote to make the returns public, which would then require a full vote in the House.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Trump claimed North Korea missile testing ‘would stop’ — but they just launched again: report

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The upcoming G7 summit meeting in Bairritz, France will have one more issue to grapple with after North Korea reportedly conducted missile tests.

"South Korea's military confirms that North Korea has launched a projectile this morning. From South Hamgyong Province. Japan's government reported it first," Voice of America Seoul bureau chief William Gallo Tweeted Friday.

"North Korea has now conducted nine rounds of launches since early May. But this one's notable because it comes after Trump says Kim promised "this testing would stop when the exercises end." They did end Tuesday. And yet..." he noted.

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