'Absolutely flabbergasted': Questions raised after docs reveal that Trump dodged mandatory audit
Donald Trump addresses supporters at the Peabody Opera House in Downtown Saint Louis in 2016. (Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com)

The news that former President Donald Trump was not audited during his first two years in office, sidestepping a mandatory White House process, has raised questions if the error was made due to lack of staff or if this was another by-product of the current polarized domestic political landscape.

Both the President and Vice President are subject to annual audits, and it was regularly scheduled activity for Trump's predecessors, former President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden. The lack of audit and explanation shocks some experts.

In a New York Times interview, Nina Olson, a national taxpayer advocate said, "I am absolutely flabbergasted...It is disturbing."

Newly released documents have shown that the first inquiry into Trump's taxes did not occur until April 2019, the same day the inquiry was started by the House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee, led by chair Massachusetts Democrat Representative Richard Neal. To the further surprise of both political and tax experts, Trump's income audits while he was President were non-existent, and income audits only began after he left office.

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These findings have brought a public outcry for the inspector general of the IRS to review the agency and its processes to identify exactly what went wrong. According to the New York Times, Charles Rettig, who Trump appointed as IRS commissioner, publicly stated via email that he did not try to intercede in Trump's audit.

"I am not aware of any taxpayer receiving special treatment at any time, before or during my term as commissioner," Rettig stated in the email.

While Rettig and his Obama-appointed predecessor have declined any involvement, the responsibility of the lack of action is quickly being pointed to Rettig. The scrutiny is only in its beginning stages and it is apparent that the upcoming change of ruling party in the House won't silence the criticism and demand for an after-action review.