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Top House Republican calls for criminal investigation into Trump tax returns leak

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/29/2020 Haley Victory Smith
Richard Neal, Kevin Brady are posing for a picture © Provided by Washington Examiner

Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, is calling for a criminal investigation into the leak of President Trump's tax returns.

"While many critics question the article’s accuracy, equally troubling is the prospect that a felony crime was committed by releasing the private tax return information of an individual — in this case the President’s," the Texas Republican said in a statement released on Monday night. "To ensure every American is protected against the illegal release of their tax returns for political reasons, I am calling for an investigation of the source and to prosecute if the law was broken."

Rep. Mike Kelly, another GOP member of the committee, echoed Brady's call, writing on Twitter, "The unethical, perhaps illegal, leaking of any American’s tax returns is a stunning breach of public trust. That doesn’t change because it happened to @realDonaldTrump. The joint political hit piece between the New York Times and Democrats just weeks before an election shows no wrong doing by @POTUS but leaves Americans wondering if their own private tax information can be weaponized against them for political gain. There must be an investigation into who turned over confidential tax records to the press to determine if the law was broken."

According to reporting from the New York Times, Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 as well as in 2017, and the president has not paid federal income taxes for the past 10 of the last 15 years, "largely because he reported losing much more money than he made." The report also said Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars in loans coming due in the next few years.

Trump called the report "fake news" and said that when his tax returns are released, it will be clear that he does pay taxes. But the president said that he cannot release his returns at this time as they are under audit.

The New York Times said Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, asked for the documents on which the report was based, but the outlet said it declined in order to protect its sources "with legal access" to the information.

The report was published 37 days ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Tags: News, Kevin Brady, House of Representatives, Donald Trump, Taxes, Congress

Original Author: Haley Victory Smith

Original Location: Top House Republican calls for criminal investigation into Trump tax returns leak

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