On Thursday, a panel discussion hosted by CNN ‘s Jake Tapper explained why President Donald Trump should release his tax returns.
At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was asked if he would release Trump’s tax returns.
“We will examine the request and we will follow the law … and we will protect the president as we would protect any taxpayer,” Mnuchin answered.
Democratic strategist Karen Finney explained that there is enough credible evidence to demand that Trump release his tax returns.
“There is a lot of evidence lying in plain sight,” Finney said. “Look at the charitable giving. If we had an opportunity to look at his taxes, we would learn something about his so-called charitable giving. We already know that the Trump Foundation had to shut down because he was using it for personal reasons, not any real charity.”
“I think there are plenty of instances in plain sight where it’s fairly clear that the president uses all sorts of trickery to avoid paying taxes, to lower his actual income amount so he can pay less. It goes to defrauding the American taxpayer,” she added.
However, Republican Mike Shields argued that Democrats do have a substantial reason to see Trump’s tax returns.
“It’s not legal to use for political reasons to go rummaging around through tax returns, whether it’s the president or anybody,” he said. “Ranking members do not believe it’s legal. Mnuchin said he would consult with his counsel to determine whether or not it’s legal. If you don’t have a reason other than politics, which is what this looks like. That’s what all these investigations are looking like.”
“Mnuchin said he would accept the request. He didn’t say he was going to turn over the taxes. What do you make of it all?” Tapper asked.
“A recurring issue with Trump is violating a norm,” conservative columnist Mary Katharine Ham said. “Trump is violating norms so we should violate a norm to beat him violating a norm, and that can be very dangerous. There are implications here that could be abusive in the future. Although, I would like to see Trump’s taxes. I think there is something there that he doesn’t want us to see.”
Political commentator Symone Sanders added by saying, “The idea of Donald Trump violating norms– meaning to go about business as usual is not smart. It’s crazy.”
Watch below via CNN:
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[caption id="attachment_1544917" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Headline in The New York Times: "Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated" screengrab.[/caption]