Not only that.
It could also prove to be a distraction at a time when Biden is trying to advance his own legislative agenda through a tightly divided Congress.
However, if the Democrats suddenly said “don’t care,” it would not only be an embarrassing U-turn, it would enrag people like Rep. Bill Pascrell (DN.J.), head of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight.
“In a perfect world we could have mercy – but this is not a perfect world,” said Pascrell, who helped fuel Trump’s return. “Even if he’s no longer the president, there has to be some accountability.”
“We have to go through with this.”
With Trump making noise in 2024, Democrats might turn down the option.
Biden did not say how he would approach the issue and a spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Democrats have been on trial for over a year Action to enforce a subpoena for Trump’s documents under a 1924 law that allows heads of congressional tax committees to see everyone’s returns.
The Trump administration has refused, arguing that Democrats have no legitimate reason to request the filing. However, the case has not even gotten to the substance of the complaints from Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Chair, with either side Dispute over whether he even has the right to bring the White House to justice.
Separately, several House committees and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. are also handcuffed in court for Trump’s tax returns and other financial records from his banks and an accounting firm. F.or various examinations.
But Biden’s Treasury Secretary could give Neal the return without anyone outside the government even knowing. In August, when Neal was struggling to fend off a primary challenge, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would publish the president’s record if Biden won.
“Then the world will see what the president has been hiding all along,” she said.
In an email, a Neal spokesman said he was still focused on his trial.
Some are not convinced that the Democrats will pursue the issue any further over the next year, as by then the policy of posting Trump’s returns could be very different.
He will be back to being a private citizen and already face major investigations by the New York state government. Not only may it look like Democrats are piling up from the forcible release of Trump’s tax records – it would also be highly unusual.
Despite defying a decade-long tradition of presidents posting their records, Trump is under no legal obligation to show them, and Congress has only on extremely rare occasions released private tax information about anyone.
It could also be a lot of work for Democrats.
They have a long list of questions about Trump’s finances and requested a lot of information about his taxes. But investigating them would be a big undertaking, and it is unclear whether the Democrats will spend much of Biden’s first year in office this way.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided not to promote the goals of the Biden administration,” said Jim Wetzler, former congressional tax advisor and one-time tax commissioner for New York State.
But many Democrats have long complained that Neal wasn’t aggressive enough in persecuting the president. They say they still want to know a lot more on Trump’s finances than was published in recent New York Times reports based on leaked tax return information.
And they argue that they still don’t understand how extensively the IRS has scrutinized Trump’s returns as part of its annual, statutory audits of the president.
“Americans need to know that all taxpayers who are audited by the IRS get the same partial audit – no one is above the law,” said Pascrell.
In addition, House Democrats want to pass laws requiring presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, and it may seem strange to push that forward if they don’t publish Trump’s information.
There is another possibility: Even if he’s not in office, Trump could potentially file a new lawsuit to prevent Congressional Democrats from getting his return. He successfully sued to prevent her, at least temporarily, from taking advantage of a New York state law that authorized officials there to share Trump’s New York return with Neal.
Although Neal has shown little interest in applying this law, Trump’s attorneys argued that the Massachusetts Democrat could change his mind without warning and receive the president’s return before he has a chance Plot.
A federal court was on the side last year with Trump, officials said they should give him the opportunity to go to court if Neal seeks return. Trump could potentially resort to this game book with the finance department to prevent it from acting at the request of Congress.
“He would likely sue based on his past behavior,” said Kerry Kircher, a former General Counsel of the House of Representatives.
“It is what he does.”