Trump Used A Trick To Stop The IRS

( It’s no secret at this point that former President Donald Trump was able to delay the release of his tax records to the House Ways and Means Committee for multiple years.

While he was ultimately unable to permanently block his returns from being turned over to the House – which subsequently released them to the public – he was successful at delaying the release for multiple years.

Now, we all know how the former president was able to get that done.

A Bloomberg News report from earlier this week said Trump sent a barrage of requests under the Freedom of Information Act to the IRS as a way to shed light on the internal deliberations officials within the agency were having while they were considering whether to turn over his tax records to the House.

In 2019, Trump filed two different FOIA requests with the IRS, not long after Richard Neal, the then-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, requested that the Treasury Department provide them with copies of multiple years of Trump’s returns, as well as that of the former president’s companies.

One of Trump’s requests, according to Bloomberg News, happened just a few weeks before the House panel sued the IRS and Treasury to force the disclosure of those records. Trump is entitled to make that request under Section 6103 of the U.S. code.

Bloomberg obtained a copy of that request, which showed Trump wanted to receive communications between officials and Charles Rettig, who was then serving as the commissioner of the IRS, “in connection with the disclosure or potential disclosure of any taxpayer materials” that stemmed from the House panel’s request.

Trump also demanded to receive records that the IRS sent to Senator Ron Wyden, who was serving as the ranking member of the upper chamber’s Finance Committee, regarding a memo that IRS attorneys prepared while they were waiting for a request about his tax returns from Congress.

Another FOIA request Trump made asked the IRS to provide him with records of briefings that officials gave for the House Ways and Means Committee on the practice of making an audit of presidential tax returns mandatory. That request also wanted documents that related to the IRS’ “consideration of the potential disclosure of taxpayer’s tax returns” as well as records pertaining to “tax procedures specific to the president of the United States.”

Steven Mcnuchin, who was serving as Secretary of the Treasury under Trump, wouldn’t comply with the request to send Trump’s tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee in the House or the Finance Committee in the Senate. At the time, he said there wasn’t a legitimate legislative purpose for doing so.

That’s despite the fact that chairs of both of those committees have long been able to demand a copy of an individual’s tax returns.

Neal ultimately filed a lawsuit to force the tax agency to release the records. It took years for that suit to come to a conclusion.

Luckily for Democrats – and unluckily for Trump – they were given access to the records in December, just a few days before the Republican Party took control of the House.