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Congressman Lacy Clay

Representing the 1st District of Missouri

Clay Joins Pascrell’s Push to Force Trump to Release Tax Returns

February 14, 2017
Press Release
Congress Has the Power; Taxpayers Have a Right to Know

WASHINGTON – As troubling questions regarding President Donald J. Trump’s alleged multiple conflicts of interest stemming from his complex web of family business interests grow, Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri, the Ranking Member on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit has joined with Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D) New Jersey, a senior Member of the House Ways & Means Committee to demand the release of President Donald J. Trump’s tax returns.

“The President assured taxpayers that he would release his tax returns if he won,” said Mr. Clay. “The election was more than 90-days ago and the American people are still waiting for the truth.  They need to know if the President or members of his family are benefiting from payments from foreign governments, licensing fees, royalties or other income sources that could potentially violate the emoluments clause of the U.S. ConstitutionThey also need to know that this administration’s decisions are not influenced by self-interest.”

The joint letter to House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R) Texas and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R) states in part:

The Founding Fathers were so determined to prevent corruption among public officeholders that they wrote into our Constitution the foreign emoluments clause. Yet President Trump has chosen to keep an ownership stake in his businesses, in which we know that state-owned enterprises in China and the United Arab Emirates are involved. We know that his business ties stretch to India, Turkey, the Philippines, and beyond. None of these potential conflicts and violations of the emoluments clause can be verified until and unless we have disclosure from President Trump.

The Chairmen of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Senate Finance Committee, and the House Committee on Ways and Means have the authority to request copies of President Trump’s tax returns under Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code. Disclosure would serve the public interest of clarifying President Trump’s conflicts of interest in office, the potential for him to personally benefit from tax reform, and ensure that he is not receiving any preferential treatment from the IRS.

Breaking with forty years of precedent, President Trump continues to refuse to make public his tax returns. The last time a President tried to keep his tax returns hidden, the Congress acted. In 1973 and 1974, the Joint Committee on Taxation reviewed and made public President Nixon’s tax returns.

Following a leak that then-President Nixon had paid very little in taxes, the Committee’s nonpartisan staff reviewed his returns and found that Nixon owed almost $500,000 in additional taxes over four years. Due to the significance of the issue to the country, the Committee exercised its authority and voted 9-to-1 to release the information to the public.”