So we’re finally headed to Tax Day. And we’re not talking about April 15th. No, we’re talking about Congressman Richard E. Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, requesting six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns. As we know, Trump says he’s not “inclined” to release them, and now he has his latest henchman Mick Mulvaney, acting White House Chief of Staff, waving the red cape at the bull by saying that the Democrats will never see them. They vow to fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
Let them. For too long Trump has proclaimed a special path for him and his family. Rules and laws are for other people. But Neal has given his request directly to the IRS. And the statute and precedent holds that the IRS shall supply such tax documents upon such a request.
There are two pathways to look at this. First we all know that debt-laden Donald Trump is no billionaire, and maybe not even a millionaire, which is why he is so beholden to his real master, Vladimir Putin. His entire life and ego are wound up in the notion that everyone must see he is rich. The idea of the public knowing all his crappy financials is utterly terrifying to him, and he will fight it to his last breath.
So path one: fight! Which is fabulous! Because while he is using his last resources to wage a battle to keep his taxes private, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler will be firing subpoenas at Attorney General William Barr over the Mueller report. We’ve just now increased the war to a two-pronged battlefront.
What is path two? It is that the IRS follows its statutes and hands over the requested documents. It can do this, ignoring Trump’s foot stomping. Remember, the IRS is not a private concern. It has no liability here and will act according to law until the law is changed.
If and when it provides Neal with the tax documents, we will get to see any and all shady financial dealings the Trumps have with Deutsche Bank and Russian oligarchs. This, of course, will put more pressure on Bill Barr to come clean about the traitor in the White House. In his ubiquitous The Art of War, author Sun Tzu recommends against his enemy, “Anger his general and confuse him. Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.” The Democrats have clearly gotten the memo on this.