Credo Action

Tell Democrats: Use your mandate to investigate Trump's taxes

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Petition to congressional Democrats:

"Use your electoral mandate to investigate Donald Trump's taxes – including alleged tax fraud, compromising foreign and domestic financial ties, and how he might be illegally profiting from his government position – and pass anti-corruption legislation that forces all future candidates to release their tax returns."

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    Tell Democrats: Use your mandate to investigate Trump's taxes

    This November, Democrats won the popular vote for the House of Representatives by a greater or equal margin than past wave elections in 1994, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Only gerrymandering in the House, a red-state Senate map and blatant voter suppression could rein in their momentum.1

    The American people gave Democrats a mandate for oversight and accountability of the Trump administration. That starts with investigating Donald Trump's tax returns.

    Trump bucked bipartisan tradition and refused to release his tax returns. He may be hiding outright tax fraud, compromising financial ties to Russian oligarchs or the simple illegal profiting from his position. We cannot know the extent of Trump's corruption until we see his tax returns, and that must top of the list for the new Democratic House majority.

    Tell Democrats: Use your mandate to investigate Trump's taxes.

    Once Democrats take control of the House in January, they can and must subpoena and release Trump's tax returns. Chairs of congressional tax-writing committees have the authority to demand the IRS provide them with tax returns.2 That means we will no longer have to rely on public pressure to force Trump to release his own taxes.

    But releasing Trump's tax returns is just the start. Democrats must also:

    • Investigate Trump's tax fraud. A breathtaking New York Times investigation found that the Trump family used shell companies, illegal markups and undervalued properties to transfer millions from Fred Trump to Donald and his other children. The reporting not only explodes the myth of Trump the self-made billionaire, but also specifies "instances of outright fraud."3
    • Discover whether he has compromising financial ties to Russian oligarchs or the super-rich in America. Without a look at his tax returns, the American public cannot know whether Trump’s current debt or his previous business partnerships obligate him financially to Russian oligarchs aligned with Vladimir Putin. Trump’s debt load increased from $350 to $630 million in 2016, when American banks were reluctant to extend Trump credit.4 In 2008, Trump’s son is claimed to have said, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”5
    • Find out exactly how he is profiting from the Tax Scam and holding office. A government watchdog filed a lawsuit just days after the inauguration claiming that Trump is in violation of the Constitution because any payments to Trump from foreign entities violates the anti-bribery “emoluments” clause of the Constitution.6 It appears clear that Trump is using his position to enrich himself and his family.
    • Pass anti-corruption legislation that includes new rules for candidates' tax returns. Democrats already introduced sweeping anti-corruption legislation as well as bills like Sen. Ron Wyden's Presidential Tax Transparency Act, which would require candidates to release their last three years of tax returns within 15 days of being nominated or the Federal Election Commission would do it for them.7

    Richard Neal, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, indicated he will pursue Trump's taxes.8 But it is up to us to ensure that corporate Democrats do not sabotage these efforts – and insist that every Democrat back sweeping investigations into Trump's alleged tax fraud and corruption.

    Tell Democrats: Use your mandate to investigate Trump's taxes.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Paul Waldman, "Yes, it was a wave. Here are all the other ways progressives won." The Washington Post, Nov. 7, 2018.
    2. Lauren Fox, "Here's the lawmaker who can request Trump's tax returns," CNN, Nov. 7, 2018.
    3. David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Ross Buettner, "Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father," The New York Times, Oct. 2, 2018.
    4. Josh Marshall, “Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing,” Talking Points Memo, July 23, 2016.
    5. Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman and Michael Birnbaum, “Inside Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Putin,” The Washington Post, June 17, 2016.
    6. Kim Bellware, “President Trump Has Already Violated The Constitution, Lawsuit Claims,” HuffPost, Jan. 23, 2017.
    7. Amber Phillips, “Want your presidential candidates to release their taxes? There’s a bill for that.” The Washington Post, Oct. 3, 2016.
    8. Fox, "Here's the lawmaker who can request Trump's tax returns."