Graham: 2020 candidates must release their tax returns
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.C.) said any candidate for the White House in 2020 must release his or her tax returns — including President Trump.

"Any candidate in 2020 should release their tax returns," Graham, one of the president's leading GOP critics, told reporters. 

Pressed if he thought Trump should release his financial documents, Graham added: "If he's a candidate for president ... I think if you're a candidate for president in 2020, you should release your tax returns."

Trump bucked decades of tradition during the campaign by refusing to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit by the IRS. The revenue agency noted that he was free to release the information whenever he wanted.

White House aides have said the president has no intention of releasing them.


In Congress, Democrats are preparing to double down on their demand that Trump release his tax documents. 

Democratic Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowThe Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial John Lewis to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day event Bottom Line MORE (Mich.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDemocrats ask if US citizens were detained at border checkpoints due to Iranian national origin Democrats, greens blast Trump rollback of major environmental law EPA employees push 'bill of rights' to protect scientific integrity MORE (Del.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Lawmakers call for FTC probe into top financial data aggregator Overnight Health Care: Progressives raise red flags over health insurer donations | Republican FTC commish backs Medicare negotiating drug prices | Trump moves to protect money for religious groups MORE (Ore.), as well as Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) are holding a press conference urging Republicans to allow congressional committees to review Trump's tax returns. 

Pascrell tried to force a vote earlier this week on a resolution to request Trump's returns, but it failed on a party-line vote. 

Under federal tax law, the chairmen of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees and the Joint Committee on Taxation can request the Treasury to provide tax returns, which are then considered in a closed meeting.

Trump and his top advisers have repeatedly defended his decision not to release the returns. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said earlier this year that "people don't care" about the issue. 

"The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns," Conway told ABC's "This Week."

Democrats have introduced legislation that would force candidates for major political parties and the president to release their tax returns, but the proposals face an uphill path in the GOP-controlled Congress.