The Administration

Subpoena Trump’s tax returns for Russia, China, foreign deal info

Greg Nash

The Senate and House Intelligence Committees should subpoena President Trump’s tax returns for the last 10 years to help determine whether Trump has any undisclosed business or loan deals with foreign business or government interests.

There have been allegations that Trump has received substantial loans from foreign sources and/or foreign sources have poured substantial money into the U.S. to finance Trump businesses here.

If there are no undisclosed business relationships with foreign sources, the congressional subpoenas I propose here would be answered with a blank page and a confirmation from the IRS that no undisclosed foreign loan or business relationships are found in the returns.

If there are undisclosed relationships, however, they should be fully disclosed to the intelligence committees investigating Russian attacks on American democracy, and they should be fully disclosed to the American people who have a right to know whether our leaders could be under the influence of money or business from foreign sources.

{mosads}Trump should welcome my suggestion and agree to provide this information voluntarily to the intelligence committees. If Trump volunteers to provide this information without a subpoena, and is vindicated, his popularity would immediately rise.

 

If Trump resists providing this information, the intelligence committees and the American people should wonder why and subpoenas should be issued.

Why would Trump oppose providing information that would prove he is not under the financial influence of foreign sources of money?

Let’s be clear what I am proposing here, and what I am not proposing.

While I believe all of Trump’s tax returns for the last 10 years should be disclosed in full, that is not what I suggest today.

What I do propose is that Trump be required to fully disclose the totality of his business interests with foreign nations, foreign banks, foreign business interests, foreign investors and foreign oligarchs. This would include full disclosure of money he has borrowed from foreign sources in the last 10 years, money he has received from foreign sources to finance his American-based business, and the details of any business deals between his business and foreign sources.

There are two issues at stake here.

The first is the need to ensure that Trump does not run afoul of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which would be a grave and impeachable offense.

The second is to ensure that the president does not make American policy under the influence of foreign business sources at a time when American intelligence and law enforcement agencies agree that Russia has launched a major attack designed to undermine American democracy and help elect Trump as president, and that there are security threats from other nations such as China, North Korea and Iran.

The best way to make America great — or, more accurately, keep America great — is to ensure that no American president is under the influence of foreign business or governments.

If my proposal is acted on by the intelligence committees and there are no foreign finance or business interests creating entanglements involving Trump, the committee chairs and ranking members could issue a one-sentence statement that no foreign interests that could influence our president exist.

How could President Trump or any patriotic Republican or Democrat not support this?

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He is a longtime regular columnist for The Hill and can be contacted at brentbbi@webtv.net.


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