This is peak House Republican, which is pretty much all Freedom Caucus at this point. Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas is not at all concerned about whatever law-breaking and/or utter incompetence on the part of Donald Trump has been revealed by The New York Times’ blockbuster reporting on Trump’s taxes. Even the part where the most Trump has paid in taxes annually in years is $750.
No, Brady isn’t calling for an investigation into Trump’s finances and the emerging picture that something really hinky is going on with those golf courses, in particular. Something that looks like a perfect setup for money laundering. Brady has no interest at all in that, though. He instead wants an investigation of the Times to find out where they got this information.
He says a “felony crime was committed” by whoever gave the returns to the Times. “While many critics question the article’s accuracy, equally troubling is the prospect that a felony crime was committed by releasing the private tax return information of an individual—in this case the President’s.” Then to try to make it all about good government, he said: “To ensure every American is protected against the illegal release of their tax returns for political reasons, I am calling for an investigation of the source and to prosecute if the law was broken.”
He is not trying to prevent the use of private information for political purposes. He would have used any scrap of paper stolen from any wastebasket he could have gotten his hands on about Hillary Clinton, given the opportunity. Never mind which, pretty much every political figure in the nation except Donald Trump has already released their tax returns for public scrutiny. Because most office holders aren’t crooks and it’s standard operating procedure.
Brady is the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over the IRS. So he’s positioned to call for that probe. But what—or who—is really driving this sudden concern about privacy is obvious: Trump. Within hours, White House mouthpiece Kayleigh McEnany was on Fox News reiterating his call for the investigation. And, of course, denying that Trump had anything to do with it. Because Fox News. She said Brady “hasn’t been pressed for that” but that his demand is “fair” and “important.” Uh huh.
This really is an obvious ploy to try to change the subject from the fact that almost every taxpaying American citizen has paid more in taxes than Donald Trump. It’s not going to work.
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