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President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer decimated his rationale for refusing to release his tax returns in a Fox News interview on Wednesday morning.
Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and current Trump attorney, was attempting to argue that Congress should not be able to access the president’s tax returns even though a federal law gives House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) the right to do so. He suggested that because Congress was unlikely to legislate based on Trump’s tax returns, it had no legitimate legislative reason to ask for them — an argument the president’s supporters have been making for weeks.
But then he made a new argument that seriously undermines the president’s longstanding excuse for keeping his tax returns secret.
Every other modern president has voluntarily released his tax returns — and during his 2016 campaign for the presidency, Trump initially promised to do so as well. But Trump hasn’t followed through, repeatedly claiming that he cannot be transparent with the American people until the conclusion of what he calls a “routine audit” by the Internal Revenue Service. (The IRS has stated that no law prohibits releasing a tax return that is under audit, and Trump has never offered any evidence to back up his audit claim.)
During his Fox News appearance, however, Giuliani suggested the IRS has finished looking into Trump’s taxes.
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