- The Washington Times
Thursday, October 8, 2020

Senate Democrats want the Inspector General for the Treasury Department to launch a probe to search for political influence on President Trump’s tax returns remaining under audit, which the president has said makes it so he cannot release them to the public.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, sent a letter Thursday to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George and the acting IG for the Treasury Richard Delmar, pushing for an investigation into “undue influence” on the tax audits.

They demanded a briefing for members of Congress on whether any political interference is discovered.

The Democrats claim Mr. Trump has broken decades of precedent when he refused to release his tax returns when he first ran for president in 2016. The president — and the White House — have repeatedly declined to release his tax returns, saying the president has been audited a number of times and is currently under review by the Internal Revenue Service.

Democrats, though, have continued to pursue the issue, with House lawmakers even petitioning the Supreme Court to try to enforce a congressional subpoena in order to obtain the returns. But in June, the high court batted that legal challenge away in a win for Mr. Trump.

“It is longstanding IRS policy to subject individual income tax returns for both the President and Vice President to annual ‘mandatory examinations’ while they are in office. This policy was adopted in 1977 following a Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation investigation, which found that President Nixon had filed erroneous tax returns during his presidency,” Mr. Schumer and Mr. Wyden wrote in their letter.

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