In less than three minutes, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) expertly laid out the case for Congress to obtain and examine Trump's taxes.
Trump is desperate to keep his tax returns secret. But in less than three minutes, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) expertly laid out the reasons why Congress needs to see them.
In Wednesday's House Oversight Committee hearing with Trump former attorney Michael Cohen, Ocasio-Cortez laid out how Trump may have "improperly devalued his assets to avoid paying taxes."
Here's how the scheme worked.
Trump claimed in financial disclosure forms that one of his properties in Florida, the Trump National Golf Club, was worth more than $50 million. But he reported to local tax authorities that the course was worth no more than $5 million.
Ocasio-Cortez asked Cohen if this was accurate.
In seeming agreement, Cohen said, "It's identical to what he did at Trump National Golf Club at Briarcliff Manor."
After going through other instances of "dubious tax schemes" Trump participated in, Ocasio-Cortez asked Cohen if he had knowledge of those. Cohen said he did not, but that Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg would know.
Then Ocasio-Cortez went for the big game.
"Would it help for the committee to obtain federal and state tax returns from the president and his company" to address the numerous issues, she asked Cohen?
"I believe so," Cohen answered.
Congress has the authority to request the tax returns of any individual in the country. It simply requires a letter to the Treasury from Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Trump himself repeatedly promised to release his tax returns during his campaign for the White House. But as usual, Trump was just lying.
But now that Democrats are in charge of the House, Trump may not have a choice. He may be forced to own up to his tax schemes — and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez laid out the roadmap for how Congress can expose them.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.