President Donald Trump’s desperate quest to keep his tax returns hidden from the American public, even as House Democrats invoke federal law to demand the Treasury turn them over is failing, said MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday evening.
“We got another crack in the dam in another part of the Trump Administration,” said Maddow. “This happened last night when someone leaked to the Washington Post the internal legal guidance that had been prepared at the IRS, making sure that the IRS itself knows that under law it must hand over President Trump’s tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee. The IRS’ own legal analysis says this is not a discretionary thing. This is not a judgment call for the treasury secretary or for anyone else. There is no wiggle room here. This is mandatory.”
Maddow noted that the memo “has not yet resulted in the IRS actually handing over the president’s tax returns, as required by law,” but “the IRS and the Treasury Department are now defying a subpoena to hand over those tax returns. That means their defiance of that subpoena will soon land them in court. It will not help them in court that the agency itself turns out to have put in writing that they know they need to hand over those tax returns. I mean, incidentally it will not help them that there are people inside the IRS who are willing to provide that kind of utterly damning material to reporters in order to blow the whistle on their own bosses.”
“And meanwhile, the dam is still cracking, including in new and exciting places,” said Maddow. “Today in Albany, New York, the state legislature in the state where the president lived his whole life and where he headquartered his business interests, today the state legislature in New York voted that they would provide the president’s state tax returns to Congress if the tax-related committees in Congress believe they need to see them.”
“Now there is no sign yet that the Democrats in Congress will take up this offer from New York state, which is offering to give them the president’s state tax returns,” Maddow continued. “But if the Democrats in Congress do ultimately decide to go that route, it is expected that those state tax returns would likely contain much of the same information as the president’s federal tax returns, which he is fighting so hard to keep secret.”
“And all that has happened in less than two weeks,” Maddow added. “And it’s just the start.”
Trump announces Rudy Giuliani ‘wants to go before Congress’ and testify about his Ukraine dealings
President Donald Trump on Saturday said that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, wanted to testify before Congress.
Speaking to reporters as he departed for a Republican fundraiser in Florida, Trump praised the former New York City mayor.
"Rudy, as you know, has been one of the great crime fighters of the last 50 years," Trump said of his lawyer, who is reportedly under federal investigation for breaking the law.
"And, he did get back from Europe just recently and I know -- he has not told me what he found, but I think he wants to go before Congress and say, and also to the attorney general and the Department of Justice," Trump said.
GOP governors are refusing to do Trump’s bidding and ducking him on the campaign trail: report
On Saturday, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times profiled how President Donald Trump is having less luck whipping Republican governors into line than Republican senators, including governors who arguably owe their election to his support.
"In Florida, Mr. Trump’s aides helped save the flailing candidacy of Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Republican primary, and then the general election," wrote Haberman. "Also last year, in Georgia, Mr. Trump helped pull Brian Kemp over the finish line in both the primary and the general election. In both cases, Mr. Trump’s advisers implored him to stay out of the primaries, and he agreed to — only to surprise his aides by jumping in to support Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Kemp."
Courts have avoided refereeing between Congress and the president — Trump may change all that
President Donald Trump’s refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle is the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by U.S. courts.
It’s not the first test: Struggles over power among the political branches predate our Constitution. The framers chose not to, and probably could not, fully resolve them.