You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sarah Sanders says Congress wouldn't understand Trump's taxes. But 10 members are accountants

CNN logo CNN 2019-04-15 By Eric Levenson, CNN
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

In attacking the fight to obtain Trump's tax returns, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders argued that members of Congress aren't smart enough to understand them anyway.

But three Democratic congress members are trained as certified public accountants -- people qualified and licensed by their states to do just that.

The Congressional Research Service said there are 10 accountants in this Congress, including two senators and eight House members.

Three Democratic congressmen are trained as Certified Public Accountants, which means they had to pass an exam and meet the state work and education experience requirements.

Rep. Brad Sherman of California is a tax law specialist and a CPA, and he was an instructor at Harvard Law School's International Tax Program, according to his biography. He sits on the House Committee on Financial Services.

Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, who was first elected in 1991, was a CPA and small business owner in Detroit Lakes before joining Congress.

And Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York is trained as an attorney and a CPA and previously worked as an auditor for Arthur Andersen & Co. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee -- the committee that writes many of the country's tax laws, and the committee requesting Trump's tax returns.

The seven other congressional accountants are Republicans, including Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Republicans in the House who were trained and have worked as accountants are Reps. Michael Conaway of Texas, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Bill Flores of Texas, Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and Tom Rice of South Carolina, who sits on the Ways and Means Committee.

Also watch: CNN analyst explores Trump's game of 'hide the taxes'

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Sanders' comments came Sunday as she argued against Democrats' recent push to obtain President Trump's tax returns.

"This is a dangerous, dangerous road and frankly, Chris, I don't think Congress, particularly not this group of congressmen and women, are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump's taxes will be," Sanders told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.

"My guess is most of them don't do their own taxes, and I certainly don't trust them to look through the decades of success that the President has and determine anything," she said.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19:  White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders speaks to the media after the House of Representatives pass President Trump's tax reform bill, during her daily press briefing at the White House on December 19, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) © Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders speaks to the media after the House of Representatives pass President Trump's tax reform bill, during her daily press briefing at the White House on December 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The accountants' expertise may be relevant in the coming fight over Trump's tax returns, which is setting up to become a major legal battle.

Earlier this month, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal formally requested Trump's tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, citing a little-known tax statute. But the Trump administration has resisted that request, and the Treasury Department said it would consult the Justice Department before responding further.

The President has refused to release his tax returns and says he is not doing so because he is under audit.

Collin Peterson, Brad Sherman, Thomas Suozzi are posing for a picture: US Reps. Collin Peterson, Brad Sherman and Tom Suozzi are all trained as certified public accountants. © Tom Williams/Bill Clark/Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call US Reps. Collin Peterson, Brad Sherman and Tom Suozzi are all trained as certified public accountants.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From CNN

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon