Monday, April 15, 2019

A Taxing Explanation, Con't

Mouth of Sauron Sarah Sanders says nobody in Congress is smart enough to parse Trump's tax returns anyway, so why bother?  Apparently she missed the fact that three House Democrats (and several Republicans) are CPAs.

In attacking the fight to obtain Trump's tax returns, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders argued that members of Congress aren't smart enough to understand them anyway. 
But three Democratic members of Congress are trained as certified public accountants -- professionals licensed by their states to do just that. 
The Congressional Research Service said there are 10 accountants in this Congress, including two senators and eight House members.
As certified public accountants, they had to pass an exam and meet their states' work and education requirements. 
Rep. Brad Sherman of California is a tax law specialist and a CPA, and he was an instructor at Harvard Law School's International Tax Program, according to his biography. He sits on the House Committee on Financial Services. 
Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, who was first elected in 1991, was a CPA and small business owner in Detroit Lakes before joining Congress. 
And Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York is trained as an attorney and a CPA and previously worked as an auditor for Arthur Andersen & Co. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee -- the committee that writes many of the country's tax laws, and the committee requesting Trump's tax returns.

Suozzi especially may have a big role to play here, being on Ways & Means and having been a professional tax auditor, exactly the kind of smarts needed to understand Trump's tax games.

Meanwhile, Trump is outright threatening legal action against any accounting firms that cooperate with the Democratic subpoena.

President Donald Trump’s attorneys are warning of potential legal action if an accounting firm turns over a decade of the president’s financial records to the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Trump attorneys William S. Consovoy and Stefan Passantino are urging Mazars USA not to comply with a subpoena that Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) plans to issue on Monday for Trump’s financial documents, calling it a politically motivated scheme to take down the president.

“It is no secret that the Democrat Party has decided to use its new House majority to launch a flood of investigations into the president’s personal affairs in hopes of using anything they can find to damage him politically,” Consovoy and Passantino wrote to Jerry D. Bernstein, Mazars’ outside counsel.

The attorneys said they were formally putting Mazars ”on notice” — an implicit threat of legal action. They also urged Bernstein to hold off on providing the documents to Cummings until the subpoena can be litigated in court, suggesting that a protracted legal battle is likely to ensue.

“The Democrats’ fervor has only intensified after the special counsel squelched their ‘Russia collusion’ narrative,” the attorneys continued, outlining a series of legal precedents that they argue prevents Mazars from complying with Cummings’ subpoena.

Let the games then begin.  They will take years to play out, and there's a very good chance that Trump's tax returns will be a moot point by the time this is all settled.

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