House committee expected to release Trump’s taxes on Friday

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s tax returns are expected to be released Friday by the House Ways and Means Committee, a congressional aide confirmed Tuesday.

That’s when the House, which is on vacation for the holidays, holds its next regular test-prep session. The new Congress, with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives, begins on Jan. 3.

The aide was not authorized to discuss the timing of the release publicly and requested anonymity.

The Democratic-controlled committee voted last week to release Trump’s tax returns, which contain some redactions of sensitive information such as Social Security numbers and contact information. The release raises the possibility of more disclosures related to the finances of the longtime businessman, who violated political norms by refusing to make his returns public as he sought the presidency.

The vote came on the same day as the panel released a report that found the IRS failed to conduct a mandatory audit of Trump during his presidency in a timely manner. That suggests the Trump administration may be ignoring a 1977 IRS request for an audit of the president’s tax returns.

The IRS did not start auditing Trump’s 2016 tax returns until April 3, 2019, more than two years into his presidency and just months after Democrats took control of the House of Representatives. The date coincided with the panel’s chairman, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), asking the IRS for information related to Trump’s tax returns.

The vote was the culmination of a years-long battle between Trump and Democrats that has taken hold from the campaign trail to the halls of Congress and the Supreme Court.

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee argued that transparency and the rule of law were at stake, while Republicans countered that the release would set a dangerous precedent in losing privacy protections.

“This is about the presidency, not the presidency,” Neal told reporters last week.

The panel’s top Republican member, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, said, “It’s a shame that this has been done.”

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