A House committee released several years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns on Friday, ending his extensive effort to keep his financial documents from the public, POLITICO reported.
With the release of the taxes comes the launch of another wave of intense scrutiny of the former president’s finances.
The release also adds to a growing list of political and legal challenges for Trump as he mounts his 2024 campaign for president.
Trump was the first major political party candidate for president in four decades to refuse to release his tax returns.
And he has refused to do so ever since he ran for office in 2016. When he was even in office he steadfastly refused.
In 2019, the House ways and means committee, which has the legal authority to see any taxpayer’s federal returns, requested the documents from the treasury department.
The Trump administration refused to provide them, setting off a legal battle over the next three years.
The drop in Trump’s tax returns marks an extraordinary step by the House’s top tax writer, the Chair of the Ways and Means committee Richard Neal (D-Mass.) Rep. Neal has been engaged in a three-and-a-half-year legal battle over the release of Trump’s taxes until the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in November.
A congressional report released earlier in December analyzed the documents and showed Trump and his wife Melania paid no federal income tax in 2020, the last full year he was in office, the BBC reports.
From 2015 to 2020, the period for which the committee obtained returns, Donald and Melania Trump had several years in which they reported negative income and little or no tax liability.
The report also found that the Internal Revenue Service failed to conduct mandatory audits of Trump during his first two years in office.
Six years of Trump’s tax returns will now be available to tax experts and non-experts, a development that Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen said the former president feared would result in the government levying additional taxes and penalties, The Guardian reported.
The release comes as Trump, who is running for president for the third time in 2024, continues to face major scrutiny about his business practices.
Earlier this month, a New York jury found the Trump organization guilty of 17 counts of criminal tax fraud. Even though Trump was not a part of the trial, prosecutors said he was aware of the off-the-books practices that were at issue. Lawyers for the Trump organization blamed Allen Weisselberg, the company’s longtime chief financial officer.
The New York state attorney general, Letitia James, is also suing Trump for fraud related to inflating his net worth.