Last month the State of New York passed a law which set the stage for Donald Trump’s state tax returns to be released to House Democrats as part of their investigation into his shady finances and foreign entanglements. But as it turns out, House Democrats haven’t been willing to go through the formality required to obtain them. This has set off a panic within the Resistance, and yet another round of “Why aren’t the Democrats doing anything?”
Here’s the thing. There are only two possibilities here. One is that House Democrats are hapless paralyzed idiots who don’t want to win; this is certainly the narrative that’s being pushed by the media at large, as well as the pitchfork brigade on social media. The other possibility is that House Democrats know something that the public and the media don’t. Hint: it’s the latter. In fact it’s not even difficult to logically parse why House Democrats would need to avoid taking New York State up on its offer in order to win the larger battle on Trump’s taxes.
House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal is the one who is refusing to ask New York for Donald Trump’s state tax returns, according to Bloomberg. But this is the same guy who is aggressively pursuing legal action to obtain Trump’s federal tax returns. Does anyone really believe that Neal simply can’t be bothered to take a freebie from New York for no good reason?
It couldn’t be much more obvious that Neal fears taking Trump’s state tax returns could sabotage his legal strategy when it comes to obtaining Trump’s federal tax returns, or that he already has Trump’s state tax returns, or something along those lines. He can’t say that out loud, so he’s floating the same generic platitudes that House Democrats have been floating for the past month when it comes to the legal battles they’ve been pursuing behind the scenes.
For example: even as Donald Trump was fighting House Democrats in court to try to stop Deutsche Bank and Capital One from turning over his financial records, two other major banks – Wells Fargo and TD Bank – were quietly turning over Trump’s financial records. Trump couldn’t stop those two banks, because he didn’t know House Democrats had subpoenaed them. If the Democrats had announced that they were pursuing Trump’s records from Wells Fargo and TD Bank, they wouldn’t have ended up getting those records.
It’s not difficult to figure out that House Democrats have something similar going on when it comes to Donald Trump’s tax returns. Richard Neal is not a dithering idiot who’s looking to lose. The pitchfork brigade has become far too focused on instant gratification – which wouldn’t deliver any instant results anyway – to realize that some investigative battles have to be fought in the dark in order to win them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report