The New York Times has refused to release documents proving their claim that President Donald Trump did not pay federal income taxes for 10 of the last 15 years and only paid $750 in federal income taxes for both 2016 and 2017.
The outlet reportedly obtained President Trump’s personal and corporate taxes for the past two decades and they said the president paid little or no taxes over the past 15 years “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”
Alan Garten, an attorney for the Trump Organization vehemently denied the Times accusation, saying that the story “is riddled with gross inaccuracies.”
“Over the past decade the President has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government,” Garten said in a statement. “While we tried to explain this to The Times, they refused to listen and rejected our repeated request that they show us any of the documentation they purport to be relying on to substantiate their claims.”
The Times said it declined to release the documents in order to protect its sources “with legal access” to the information.
President Trump said Monday that the information was “illegally obtained” and that he “paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits.”
“Also, if you look at the extraordinary assets owned by me, which the Fake News hasn’t, I am extremely under leveraged—I have very little debt compared to the value of assets,” he tweeted. “Much of this information is already on file, but I have long said that I may release … Financial Statements, from the time I announced I was going to run for President, showing all properties, assets, and debts. It is a very IMPRESSIVE Statement, and also shows that I am the only President on record to give up my yearly $400,000 plus Presidential Salary!”
Trump Campaign Communication Director Tim Murtaugh called the outlet’s story “a big nothingburger and a pre-debate attack intended solely to help Joe Biden.”
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the ranking member on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, called for an investigation into how the Times obtained the documents.
“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,” Brady said in a statement. “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.”
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), another member of the committee, expressed a similar sentiment. He said the “unethical, perhaps illegal” leak of an American’s tax returns is a “stunning breach of public trust.”
“That doesn’t change because it happened to @realDonaldTrump. The joint political hit piece between the New York Times and Democrats just weeks before an election shows no wrong doing by @POTUS but leaves Americans wondering if their own private tax information can be weaponized against them for political gain,” he wrote. “There must be an investigation into who turned over confidential tax records to the press to determine if the law was broken.”
..shows no wrong doing by @POTUS but leaves Americans wondering if their own private tax information can be weaponized against them for political gain. There must be an investigation into who turned over confidential tax records to the press to determine if the law was broken.
— Rep. Mike Kelly (@MikeKellyPA) September 29, 2020