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  • Donald Trump is the first candidate and president who hasn't disclosed his tax returns since 1976.

    Donald Trump is the first candidate and president who hasn't disclosed his tax returns since 1976. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 April 2019

Congressional tax committee submitted April 3 a request to disclose six years of the president's returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns will never be handed over to Democratic lawmakers, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday.

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This response comes as a Congressional tax committee submitted April 3 a request to disclose six years of the president's returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), headed by chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D).

"This is a legitimate authority that the Congress has. This president, by the way, is the least transparent president we've had in half a century,” told ABC Rep. Dan Kildee (D) and a tax committee member.

By not presenting his tax returns, Trump is indeed defying a decade long practice, in which US presidential candidates since 1976 have released tax information. However, there is no law requiring it. Mulvaney continued that “Democrats are demanding that the IRS turn over the documents. That is not going to happen, and they know it”,  adding that it is simply a “political stunt.”

Democratic Representative Ben Ray Lujan noted that presidents for decades have voluntarily released this information, and his party’s request is “not political, as our Republican colleagues are making it out to be.”

While Trump’s lawyer William Consovoy mapped out the legal road ahead, explaining in a statement, the request filed by Neal flouts “constitutional constraints”. If Congress decides to take the case to court there will be little to none legal precedence as most document disputes between the legislative and executive branches of government are resolved by negotiation.

Yet Democrats hope that by obtaining the tax returns will allow them to identify any conflicts of interest posed by Trump’s global business empire and his current administration. 

Several of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have already released their own tax returns in an effort to contrast themselves with Trump, and more are expected to follow suit in the coming days. And even though Democrats might use this against Trump's re-election campaign, the current President showed in 2016 that despite not releasing his tax information voters still supported him. 

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