Progressive group launches petition to urge Dems to investigate Trump's taxes

Progressive group launches petition to urge Dems to investigate Trump's taxes
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A progressive group on Monday launched a petition to urge congressional Democrats to investigate President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE's tax returns, as House Democrats prepare to request the documents from the Treasury Department next year when they are in the majority.

The petition launched by CREDO Action comes less than a week after Democrats won control of the House in the midterm elections.

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It calls on congressional Democrats to take advantage of the election results to "investigate Donald Trump's taxes — including alleged tax fraud, compromising foreign and domestic financial ties, and how he might be illegally profiting from his government position — and pass anti-corruption legislation that forces all future candidates to release their tax returns."

As of 12:45 p.m. Monday, more than 24,000 people had signed the petition.

Trump is the first president in decades to refuse to release his tax returns. He has said he won't make them public while under audit by the IRS, but the tax agency has said that nothing prevents people from releasing their own tax information.

A provision of the federal tax code allows the chairmen of Congress's tax committees to request tax returns from Treasury and review the documents in a closed session. After reviewing the returns, a committee could then vote to send a report to the full House about its review, which could make tax-return information public.

In an email Monday to the group's members, CREDO Action Co-Director Josh Nelson said that Democrats should investigate any financial ties that Trump has to Russia, how Trump may be benefiting from the tax-cut law he signed last year and the allegations in a New York Times article that the Trump family engaged in tax practices in the 1990s that included "instances of outright fraud." He also said that Democrats should pass legislation to require presidential nominees to make their tax returns public.

Democrats in the House are expected to make the issue a key part of their agenda upon taking the majority.

Rep. Richard NealRichard Edmund NealHouse Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments House Democrats' bill would create a second round of direct coronavirus relief payments Lawmakers question why dead people are getting coronavirus checks MORE (D-Mass.), who is expected to become chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee next year, said he plans to request Trump's tax returns, though he also expects that will lead to a fight with the administration in court.

Republicans have questioned whether it's smart politics for Democrats to seek Trump's tax returns, arguing that there could be backlash from "presidential harassment." But Democrats have said they would be careful during any review of the returns.

Nelson wrote to CREDO's members that "it is up to us to ensure that corporate Democrats do not sabotage these efforts — and insist that every Democrat back sweeping investigations into Trump's alleged tax fraud and corruption."