A powerful Republican congressman really doesn't want Democrats to investigate Trump's alleged tax fraud.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) claimed it would be "dangerous" for Democrats to investigate Trump's tax returns, despite recent revelations that Trump was deeply involved in tax fraud.
Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee, which Brady currently chairs, say they plan to obtain Trump's tax records should Republicans lose control of the House after the midterm elections.
A major New York Times investigation found that Trump helped his father commit tax fraud for years in order to transfer the elder Trump's real estate empire to his children without paying gift or estate taxes. All told, the scheme may have racked up more than $400 million in unpaid taxes and related fees and penalties.
Democrats have pushed for the release of Trump's tax returns to reveal whether Trump unethically hid his income or dodged taxes. Unlike presidential nominees of both major parties for the past 40 years, however, Trump has kept his returns a secret.
"The American people are entitled to know if their president is in a position to be compromised and the presidency compromised," Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) told the Wall Street Journal.
Brady, however, seems alarmed at this new push for disclosure and transparency.
In a tweet, Brady said such an investigation would be "dangerous."
"Once Democrats abuse this law to make public [Trump's] tax returns, what stops them from prying/making public YOUR tax returns for political reasons?" Brady wrote. "Who is next?"
Brady concluded his post with the alarmist hashtags #AbuseOfPower and #EnemiesList.
The tax code does allow the chairman of the Ways and Means committee to demand and receive any taxpayer's records for a confidential review.
But it's paranoid in the extreme to suggest that investigating possible financial crimes committed by the president of the United States would be a slippery slope to the random political persecution of ordinary citizens.
Trump's tax returns, and any criminal or unethical behavior they might reveal, could have serious national and international implications.
Trump's massive conflicts of interest as president have already been well documented. His tax returns could reveal more detail about the full extent of his corruption.
Since Trump was sworn in, his fellow Republicans have repeatedly refused to perform their basic oversight duties. If Democrats win back the House in the midterms, they say they will do the job Republicans won't, and hold Trump accountable.
And that has Republicans like Kevin Brady terrified.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.