Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Pascrell, Eshoo, Crowley Demand Investigation into Trump Foundation

Jul 26, 2018
Press Release
Senior Democrats push IRS and FEC to apply sunlight to Trump’s long-hidden tax returns

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Anna G. Eshoo, (D-CA-18), Joe Crowley (D-NY-14), and 91 House members sent a letter to the heads of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) demanding they launch an investigation of Donald Trump and the Trump Foundation, including a formal probe into Trump’s tax returns.

“For decades, presidents and presidential candidates have voluntarily disclosed their tax returns. By refusing to make his tax returns public, the President implies he is hiding important information from the American people,” the Members write. “Tax returns contain vital information such as whether the candidate paid taxes; what they own; how much they’ve borrowed and from whom; whether they’ve made charitable donations; and whether they’ve taken advantage of tax loopholes or offshore tax shelters.”

On June 14, New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a civil suit against Donald Trump for misusing funds from the Trump Foundation to benefit himself and his businesses. The letter urges the IRS and FEC to follow-up on Attorney General Underwood’s recommendation to investigate the President and the Trump Foundation. Due to the charges of tax fraud by New York State, federal investigators would have the authority to obtain the President’s tax returns and make them publicly available for the first time.

“As Members of Congress who support transparency and accountability, we urge you to investigate this matter to determine whether the President broke the law and abused our tax system, and to refer the matter to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution if the evidence warrants,” the Members continue.

A July 4 op-ed in the New York Times by award-winning journalist David Cay Johnston outlined many of the issues the members raise in their letter.

Rep. Pascrell has been Congress’s most vocal proponent of releasing President Trump’s tax returns in order to reveal any potential conflicts of interest. Since February 2017, Pascrell has led the call for the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means to invoke Section 6103 of the tax code to obtain Trump’s tax returns. Pascrell believes that exposing the tax returns to sunlight is critical to revealing any potential conflicts of interest, including those with Russian entities. Republicans have voted 16 times to block Democratic resolutions seeking the tax returns.

The text of the letter is available below:

July 26, 2018

 

The Honorable David J. Kautter, Acting Director
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20224

The Honorable Caroline C. Hunter, Chair
Federal Election Commission
1050 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20463

The Honorable Ellen L. Weintraub, Vice Chair
Federal Election Commission
1050 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20463

Dear Acting Director Kautter, Chair Hunter, and Vice Chair Weintraub,

 

On June 14th New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a civil suit against President Donald Trump for persistently misusing funds from the Donald J. Trump Foundation to benefit himself and his businesses and recommended the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigate the President and his foundation. As Members of Congress who support transparency and accountability, we also urge you to investigate this matter to determine whether the President broke the law and abused our tax system, and to refer the matter to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution if the evidence warrants.

 

Attorney General Underwood’s civil suit alleges that as the head of the Trump Foundation, President Trump engaged in “persistently illegal conduct,” using the tax-exempt foundation to benefit himself, his businesses, and his presidential campaign. The President is also accused of signing four false tax returns claiming the Foundation used none of its funds to benefit himself or his businesses. Because the allegations pertain to tax fraud, federal investigators would have the authority to obtain the President’s tax returns and make them publicly available for the first time.

 

Tax returns contain vital information such as whether the candidate paid taxes; what they own; how much they’ve borrowed and from whom; whether they’ve made charitable donations; and whether they’ve taken advantage of tax loopholes or offshore tax shelters. They are also highly instructive as to any conflicts of interest. The current President has 564 financial positions in companies located in the U.S. and around the world according to Federal Election Commission forms, making him more susceptible to conflicts of interest than any president in our history.

 

We have supported congressional efforts to obtain President Trump’s tax returns to examine them for conflicts of interest and tax compliance.  Due to inaction from the congressional majority, his financial interests and tax compliance remain obscured. We implore you to use your authority to examine whether the President is following our laws and tax code.

 

The IRS and the FEC have an obligation to investigate alleged violations of the tax code and campaign finance law, respectively, and we urge you to promptly begin these investigations.

 

Thank you in advance for your timely response to our request.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

____________________        ____________________        ____________________

Anna G. Eshoo                        Joseph Crowley                      Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress              Member of Congress              Member of Congress

 

cc:        The Honorable Barbara D. Underwood, Attorney General of New York State