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Trump’s tax returns to be released by US Congress

by Frankie Taggart

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US lawmakers voted on Tuesday to make public Donald Trump’s tax returns, ending a years-long battle by the former president to keep the filings private as his cloudy financial past continues to stoke controversy.

The Republican leader – who is running for the White House again after losing the 2020 election – broke with presidential tradition by refusing to release the records, triggering feverish speculation about what they might contain.

The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines, 24–16, to release six years of the billionaire’s filings – one of its last actions before the reins are handed to the Republicans in January.

Democratic congressman Lloyd Doggett told CNN a summary report would be sent to the full House of Representatives with analysis from the US Congress Joint Committee on Taxation – along with the raw returns.

“That may be delayed for a few days, only to permit time for redacting things like social security numbers… that kind of thing,” he said.

The vote came after committee chairperson Richard Neal won access to the documents, covering 2015–2020, at the end of a protracted legal fight that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

“This was not about being punitive, it was not about being malicious – and there were no leaks from the committee,” he said after the vote.

Only a small, select group of lawmakers have seen the returns, which have been subject to privacy laws that made it a felony for anyone to leak details.

The law allows legislators with responsibility over taxation to examine the returns of any American taxpayer, however.

Trump’s finances have always been of immense interest to the US public, in part due to the lengths to which he has gone to keep them private, and also because of his lavish pre-White House lifestyle as a property mogul.

The returns could show how much he has given to charity, if he has foreign business concerns or other conflicts of interest, and how his businesses were affected by his presidency and the pandemic.


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