Another whistleblower alleges ‘inappropriate’ action over Trump taxes

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  • Another whistleblower complaint has been lodged, this time alleging that there were “inappropriate efforts to influence” the mandatory audit of the Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 
  • In an August 8 letter, written by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Neal says that his committee received “credible allegations of ‘evidence of possible misconduct'” from a federal employee in July.
  • Though the president is not required by law to release their tax returns, every president has voluntarily released their tax returns or a tax summary since 1974⁠ — except Trump.
  • Trump is also dealing with another whistleblower complaint, lodged in August, which sparked the House to launch a formal impeachment inquiry.
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A new whistleblower complaint alleges that “possible misconduct” occurred in an effort to influence the audit of President Donald Trump’s taxes.

US House Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal, the committee which has jurisdiction over taxes, tariffs, and other social assistance programs, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin saying that a “Federal employee” submitted an “unsolicited communication” on July 29, 2019, which alleged that there were “‘inappropriate efforts to influence'” the mandatory Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit of Trump’s and Vice President Mike Pence’s tax returns.

In his August 8 letter, Neal argued that the allegations made by the whistleblower were “credible” and pointed to “evidence of possible misconduct.”

“This is a grave charge that appreciably heightens the Committee’s concerns about the absence of appropriate safeguards as part of the mandatory audit program and whether statutory codification of such program or other remedial, legislative measures are warranted,” he wrote. 

Neal also stated that his committee had “raised these concerns repeatedly,” though IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig had previously referred to the concerns as “unfounded.” He said the whistleblower complaint “underscore[s] the pressing need for complete and meaningful oversight.” 

Though the president is not required by law to release their tax returns, every president has voluntarily released their tax returns or a tax summary since 1974⁠ — except Trump. The president’s taxes are automatically audited by the IRS.

Read more: Trump is facing the biggest firestorm of his presidency because his own staffers blew the whistle on him

In July, Neal sued Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to get a hold of six years of Trump’s tax returns. Democrats claimed in the court filing that under Section 6103 of the US tax code, the Treasury “shall furnish” any document requested by the House Ways and Means Committee chair.

The Department of the Treasury did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s unclear why Trump has not released his tax returns.

A New York Times investigation suggested that he may have engaged in tax schemes, including fraud, during the 1990s.

Trump is also dealing with another, separate whistleblower complaint, lodged in August, which sparked the House to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. The complaint, which was declassified last week, centers around a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and alleged that Trump used his power for his own political gain.

The White House last week also released a memo about the call, which appeared to confirm that Trump pressed Zelensky to open an investigation into corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.