President Donald Trump is still refusing to release his tax returns, despite having pledged to do so for years now.
Trump biographer David Cay Johnston, who has in the past written extensively on ways that the American tax code is rigged to benefit wealthy Americans, appeared on CNN Monday to knock down the president’s latest excuses for not showing the public his taxes.
After told of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claiming that members of Congress aren’t smart enough to properly review Trump’s taxes, Johnston wasted no time in shooting down this particular talking point.
“The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation employs about 70 tax lawyers and tax accountants who are among the very best experts on this in the country,” Johnston said. “Furthermore, they can bring in, if necessary, consultants from the tax avoidance world to help them go over the returns. This is just typical Trumpian nonsense, it has no basis in fact.”
Johnston then said that the administration has no legal wiggle room to argue that Congress has no right to request the president’s taxes.
“The law simply says that — upon written request of the Chairman of Ways and Means, senate finance, or the congressional employee who is chief of staff at the Joint Committee on Taxation — the returns and related information shall be turned over,” he explained.
Watch the video below.
Trump slammed for lawless obstruction of Congress: ‘He’s taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution’
On CNN Saturday, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), who voted for the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, discussed the path forward for impeaching President Donald Trump.
"We know moderate Democrats are a bit frustrated with leadership over potentially expanding the scope of their consideration, maybe the Mueller report findings and drawing up these articles of impeachment," said anchor Victor Blackwell. "Do you think it's a mistake not to include anything beyond the Ukraine matter?"
"Yes," said Holtzman. "I think it would be a mistake, although, you know, I'm still at a distance, and the members of the committee really have to, who have been digging into this deeply have the best feel, but my sense is that the, what the president did is so egregious, not just with regard to Ukraine, but what part of what's bad about his activities in Ukraine, is that he's taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution by saying that Congress has no right to get information, and he's cut off his committee, his administration from, and ordered and directed them not to cooperate with the committee in any way."
Giuliani pummeled by ex-press secretary for ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ to create Ukraine chaos
On CNN Saturday, Rudy Giuliani's former mayoral press secretary Ken Frydman harshly criticized his former boss for his ongoing efforts in the Ukraine scheme.
"As you've watched the former mayor over the last several years, have you identified a point at which things shifted for the man who I guess still is for some known at America's Mayor?" asked anchor Victor Blackwell."
"Well, yeah. I think when he went into business with Donald Trump," said Frydman. "You saw a — a severe change in his personality. He had a zealous need to make money, to be relevant. To be part of the political process. And you know right now he's making, I think, ill-advised decisions, like returning to the scene of the crime, Ukraine, to make a propagandist documentary. Almost as if he's playing, he and the president, are playing, 'catch me if you can.' The president will not participate in the impeachment hearings, and Rudy is off in the Ukraine doubling down."
‘I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years’: Trump demands retraction from CNN — in tweet sent from his iPhone
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump had spoken to Rudy Giuliani over unsecured phone lines.
If he was using an unsecured phone to talk to Giuliani about Ukraine, Trump would effectively be allowing the Russians to listen in.
CNN confirmed the unsecured phone use, reporting "President Donald Trump has continued to use his personal cell phone to make calls, despite repeated warnings from his staff that the practice could leave him vulnerable to foreign surveillance, multiple officials told CNN."