Trump Administration Ignored Internal Legal Opinion In Withholding Tax Records

I recently testified in the House Judiciary Committee that the Congress must challenge the refusal of the Trump Administration to turn over certain records and to bar certain witnesses from oversight investigations. While I also disagreed with some of Congress’s actions, the Trump Administration has cannot withhold material from oversight authority on the basis of undeclared privileges or ill-defined objections. This is the case in the refusal to turn over tax records demanded by Congress. As I stated earlier, the House has made only generalized claims of a legislative purpose for such records. Nevertheless, the law clearly favors Congress in seeking such material. Notably, the Trump Administration has not claimed executive privilege but only that the Committee lacks a legislative purpose. That is not enough. Now, it appears that the Administration was warned by its own confidential Internal Revenue Service legal memorandum that it would be violating the law by withholding the records without an executive privilege claim. It ignored the legal memorandum and refused the congressional demand.

The memo, obtained by The Washington Post, concluded that he disclosure of tax returns to the committee “is mandatory, requiring the Secretary to disclose returns, and return information, requested by the tax-writing Chairs.” Nevertheless, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin simply refused to turn over the material on the basis that the House lacks a legislative purpose for demanding them.

The IRS stated what some of us have said from the outset: the federal law does not state conditions for this demand and does not die the Secretary discretion to refuse such demands when properly made by a congressional committee: “[T]he Secretary’s obligation to disclose return and return information would not be affected by the failure of a tax writing committee … to state a reason for the request,” it says. It adds that the “only basis the agency’s refusal to comply with a committee’s subpoena would be the invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege.”

Notably, this memo was completed months before Mnuchin made his decision to refuse the demand of the House Ways and Means Committee.

If the Administration is simply seeking to delay investigations, it could achieve that goal but will do so at the cost of creating damaging precedent against the Executive Branch for future presidents.

Here is the memo: IRS Memorandum

241 thoughts on “Trump Administration Ignored Internal Legal Opinion In Withholding Tax Records”

  1. President Trump’s “tax records” are precisely where they should be; in the IRS.

    The hysterical, incoherent and powerless “Old Hag” is in full panic mode as the noose tightens around the necks of the co-conspirators

    to the Obama Coup D’etat in America.

  2. “The IRS stated…….” The IRS stated nothing. This previously unpublished memo was never made official policy or communicated to the Treasury Department.

  3. I think his refusal to turn over his tax returns is a setup or trap and the dems took the bait. Suppose a court orders them to be released and there’s nothing nefarious at all in them. Once again the hysterical, obstructionist democrats come out looking like idiots. On top of that, each and every one of them are now subject to having to turn over their own – revealing the tens of millions each of them have made throughout their time in Washington through insider trading.

    Several years ago they quietly eliminated the restrictions against members of Congress using information they gain through their confidential dealings in committees to invest or sell and make tons of money. It’s high time every single one of them were exposed for enriching themselves instead of serving the country’s needs.

    1. It’s panic time as the noose tightens around the necks of the co-conspirators to the Obama Coup D’etat in America.

    2. oh trust me they will find something. it won’t matter what they say. they will find some lawyer blowhards for hire who will make stuff up if need be. and since they will run the point-counterpoint scenario, pitting a strong anti trump versus a weak anti trump, to ignorant but naive boobs it will seem like its all against trump

      it’s a trap alright but only one for Trump

      it’s also a mosquito biting at an elephant. a boring sideshow in a world fraught with danger and needing strong attentive executive leadership not endless partisan bickering

  4. I recently testified in the House Judiciary Committee that the Congress must challenge the refusal of the Trump Administration to turn over certain records and to bar certain witnesses from oversight investigations.

    The US House doesn’t merit cooperation with the local dog catcher considering the US House Members are all flea infested curs. JT would be more persuasive arguing for the resurrection of Jesus Christ than why anyone should take the word of the US House of Mongrels.

    Perhaps I understate

    —-

    Wall Street Journal

    Don McGahn’s Immunity
    Why Congress can’t force the former White House counsel to testify.

    This isn’t a novel legal doctrine. For nearly 50 years, multiple administrations have held that Congress cannot compel the appearance of a close adviser to the President. That judgment has been backed by numerous legal memos from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, starting in 1971 when future Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist ran the shop. The view was reinforced and invoked by Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama.

    The reason is rooted in the Constitution’s separation of powers and co-equal branches of government. The White House can’t compel a Member of Congress to visit the Oval Office, and likewise Congress can’t compel a President to appear on Capitol Hill.

    The same goes for senior White House advisers who are agents of the President and whose candid counsel he needs to fulfill his duties. Unlike cabinet officers who run departments, the only job of these advisers is to counsel the President. To allow Congress to haul presidential advisers to Capitol Hill would make the President subordinate to Congress and chill communications inside the White House.

    Mr. Nadler claims that the White House forfeited executive privilege when it let Mr. McGahn testify for 30 hours to special counsel Robert Mueller. But the White House is invoking testimonial immunity that is separate from executive privilege that relates to answering specific questions. Mr. McGahn doesn’t even have to show up.

    As for executive privilege, Mr. McGahn spoke to Mr. Mueller, who as special counsel was a fellow member of the executive branch. That does not mean Mr. Trump must also hand the same information over to Congress.

    As a May 20 Office of Legal Counsel memo puts it, “The sharing of information between one arm of the Executive Branch and another does not compromise the President’s interest in confidentiality.” Mr. Trump retains the privilege and can ask Mr. McGahn not to tell Congress about their private conversations.

    All of this legal analysis is important but it also gives Mr. Nadler too much credit for sincerity. The Democrat knows that even if Mr. McGahn appears before Congress, Mr. Trump’s invocation of executive privilege means that Mr. McGahn couldn’t answer questions beyond the scope of the report that Mr. Mueller has already released. Mr. Nadler doesn’t expect to learn anything new.

    He wants a show. He wants to use Mr. McGahn as a prop to spend three hours claiming that Mr. Trump tried to obstruct the Mueller investigation. Yet Mr. Mueller wasn’t obstructed in any way, his copious report was released for all to see, and there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Mr. McGahn can be forgiven for declining the honor of appearing in Mr. Nadler’s pseudo-impeachment drama.

    Mr. Nadler’s “contempt” ruling, if he follows through, also carries no legal authority under the Constitution. If Congress can’t compel the testimony of a close presidential adviser, it can’t hold him in contempt for protecting the President’s proper powers by refusing to testify. Mr. Nadler is showing his contempt—for the separation of powers.

    Democrats may ask a court to enforce its McGahn subpoena, but they will lose at the Supreme Court even if some anti-Trump lower-court judge rules their way. Congress will have a stronger case on some of its other requests for information—such as Mr. Trump’s tax returns. But Congress has a losing case on Don McGahn’s constitutional immunity from playing the dancing bear at a political circus.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/don-mcgahns-immunity-11558479763?mod=hp_opin_pos1

  5. The law also gives the President the unlimited right to get any tax return. Maybe he should request a few from the democratic leadership. IRS would ha e no legal authority to withhold

  6. The attempt to get Trump’s tax returns is a Democrat sideshow…very boring. The real fireworks are coming: declassification.

    1. Loads of things are coming and I don’t think these games the Democrats are playing will do anything to stop them but the Democratic games might infuriate the nation even more. Here is one small item that will invariably rear its head again shortly. 7 reasons and the explanations are at the site. The Democrats were unable to intimidate Trump and now they can’t intimidate Barr.

      “Former President Barack Obama’s allies have lately claimed his term in office was “scandal-free,” a claim his critics find “laughable.” Abuses of power under the Obama administration ranged from drone-strike assassinations of U.S. citizens to the IRS’s targeting of conservatives. In fact, the Obama administration was a magnet for scandals. One of the largest—and perhaps least understood—involves the Russian takeover of Uranium One, a Canadian mining company with large uranium holdings in the United States.”

      7 Reasons Why the Uranium One Scandal Won’t Go Away (full explanation at site along with a map to link all the players)

      1. Uranium One is the largest foreign-influence scandal in US history.
      2. Uranium One was never just a Clinton scandal; it’s also an Obama scandal.
      3. Uranium One likely played a major role in the origins of the Trump–Russia collusion hoax.
      4. ‘What did Obama know, and when did he know it?’

      5. Whistleblowers are ready to talk. An ‘avalanche’ is coming.
      6. Top GOP lawmakers are not going to let Uranium One be swept under the rug.
      7. President Trump and Attorney General Barr appear to be ready to drop the hammer.

      https://www.theepochtimes.com/7-reasons-why-the-uranium-one-scandal-wont-go-away_2914343.html?utm_source=deployer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newslink&utm_term=members&utm_content=20190521235536

      1. Idiot believes whatever BS is thrown at Clinton, Obama, etc. yet his thuglican heroes can’t lay a glove on them.

        1. The possibility has not yet been eliminated that what Allan really believes is that AG Barr is GORT, Trump is Klaatu, and Victor David Hanson is the woman who tells GORT “Klaatu Barada Nikto.”

          Contributed by The L4D–I’m Still Not Shaking In My Army Boots Yet–Project

          1. Diane, your nonsense is either unreadable, incoherent, non responsive, repetitive or just too darn long to read. I caught this one because it was short enough for me to see my name.

            Not mentioning Trump you mentioned two brilliant men whether you agree with them or not. Why is it you cannot assess a man’s intelligence and honesty based on the individual’s accomplishments instead of what party they belong to?

        2. YNOT, I can’t help it if you suck up to men that abuse women and woman that demean other women abused by her husband. That seems to be natural in your part of the barnyard.

          1. Foolish to discuss but here goes: you don’t seem to have a problem with tRump’s indiscretions which means you are a hypocrite. tRump brags about his ignorance and you ignore. Someone smears a politician, Clinton, and you are all in. You are a loser.

            1. Trump’s indiscretions were consensual. You don’t recognize the difference between consensual sex and abstinence so the result of your beliefs is no reproduction or rape. Of course that is a black and white scenario which is one of the ways you see things so I am helping to make it clear to you the difference between consensual sex and rape.

              No one smeared Bill Clinton with regard to his activities with women. He abused. His relationships were not always consensual and his wife Hillary stuck up for Bill and demeaned women that had already been harmed by him.

              YNOT you have to be pretty sick not to know the difference between consensual sex and non consensual sex. You don’t seem to recognize that difference. You can now go back to the barnyard and abuse chickens.

  7. I would like to see Pelosi’s tax returns going back forty years. Did she really work in a cathouse when out of college?

  8. “The subpoena authority of Congress is an implied rather than express power within Article I of the Constitution.”

    – Professor Turley
    _______________

    In fact, Congress derives no “subpoena,” “investigative” or “oversight” power from Article 1. The legislative branch claims phantom “subpoena,” investigative” and “oversight” power. The executive branch claims phantom “privilege.” Presumptive “oversight” by congress must be accomplished in the absence of subpoena or investigative power. That is the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution. Congress may not subpoena or investigate and the President may not claim privilege.

    The judicial branch may do its due diligence, its solemn duty and assure that actions comport with the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution, or the judicial branch will violate fundamental law, its constitutional charge, “legislate from the bench” and assign powers that don’t exist, which is an impeachable crime of high office, as are the usurpations inherent in the seizure of phantom powers by the legislative and executive branches.

    1. The legislative branch has no power to execute.

      The legislative branch has no power to “subpoena,” “investigate” or conduct “oversight.”

      The legislative branch has no power to abuse power.

      The legislative branch has no power to persecute the executive branch.

      The legislative branch has the power to legislate.

      The legislative branch has the power to impeach.

      Elected officials, politicians, pundits and sycophants may not arbitrarily avail themselves of power denied by the Constitution.

      1. George think about this a second. investigation and oversight and subpoenas are all just activities and tools, even if quasi judical rules inherent in every branch of government

        Congress can make laws
        Ergo, it can make a law that it has the power to investigate, oversee, and subpoena

        Now, there are limits on what kinds of laws it can make up, not just caselaw rules from the SCOTUS, but “separation of powers” rules inherent in the underlying political theory of our national government. I think that is what you are geting at when you refer to the power to execute.

        However, it’s up to the three branches to fight it out and define those separations over time.

        Turley is an expert on those rules, I can’t even follow all what he says, but it does not really seem deniable in my mind that in theory Congress could by law give itself certain powers and over time for exmaple they have forced their power to draft “enabling laws” to create agencies which have all three kinds of powers. Like the Social security admin, which can make rules (law) judge cases, and execute agency disretionary type executive actions

        During FDR’s time the Congress’ ability to pass enabling laws was challenged. Now, most of those challenges failed, if only because SCOTUS said well after all Congress is the highest legislator in the land, not the SCOTUS. So, if they want to make “enabling laws” type agencies, who is the SCOTUS to say no?

        And there is no question that the Constitution identifies Congress as the most important branch, at least in theory

        Congress as an institution often if not usually fails, but it is better to have it than not have it at all. Somebody has to be the ultimate legislator.

        But the tax returns thing is just a tempest in a teapot.

        1. Mr. Kurtz, thank you.

          Congress may make constitutional laws.

          Congress may not amend the Constitution by making laws.

          Congress cannot execute, Congress cannot abuse power, Congress cannot “subpoena,” “investigate” or conduct invasive “oversight” of the wholly separate and sovereign executive branch and Congress cannot usurp and nullify the power of the executive branch. The Constitution omits, excludes and denies Congress the power to confiscate the enterprise and/or tax records of the executive branch for the purpose of political persecution of the separate branch. It’s not in the Constitution no matter how much you and other liberals WANT it to be in the Constitution.

          Democrats have stated that the Chief Executive does not have the power to direct the Attorney General, a member of the executive branch and appointee of the President. Similarly, Congress does not have the power to neutralize, incapacitate and nullify the executive branch as political expediency. Congress has the power to impeach without any constitutional power to “subpoena,” “investigate” or conduct invasive “oversight” of the executive branch.

          You may like it but the Founders deliberately omitted and, thereby, excluded from the Constitution any power of Congress to “subpoena,” “investigate” or conduct “oversight” of the executive branch so politicians have constructed “phantom” powers and “phantom” privileges which don’t exist.

          Separation of powers, as a concept, means separation of powers.

  9. Before I drag you over the coals for your imbecilic post, I’ll start with, where in the Constitution does it give the President any Executive Privileges, where in the Constitution does it give the President the authority to assemble an administration to Govern, where in the Constitution does it give Parties the authority to assemble in Congress and control the Suffrage’s of the States to Control Based Upon Majority Party Affiliation, and where in the Constitution does it form the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial as Coequal Branches!?

    The General term “Congress” refers to the States, in Congress Assembled, which means the States are assembled and have Suffrage to come to a Majority Consensus of the States, therefore only the States are members of Congress, and only the States have Suffrage in Congress based upon the Mode of Assembly, Proportional or Equal, the Parties have absolutely no Suffrage, therefore the members of Parties must participate through their States just like everyone else in their respective States!

    So try if you might to explain, or Justify, any aspect of what we call Checks and Balances today, especially since Checks and Balances refer to Congress where through the assembly of the Bicameral Legislature by dual modes of assembly and Suffrage, creates two distinct Governments of the States, one by the States population and the other as the States as Equals. If you are having trouble with this concept then read Federalist #62 by Madison which covers the Senate, and in particular the Equality of the Senate, as opposed to the Proportional Assembly of the House, and how it relates to Checks and Balances and the Continuity and Stability of Government!

    Our Government is FUBAR, because of the usurpations of Political Parties to Control the Governing institutions and the Legislative processes! Insubordination is not only an act against the Union, which is what Congress is, it is an impeachable offense, and Congress doesn’t need to hold a single hearing, to impeach or remove, and it can be imposed on any person within the Federal Government, up to and including the President.

    Funny thing is that there is nothing in the Constitution that says that Congress must allow an impeached person to return to duties once impeached and During the trial for removal, which in the case of the President would constitute an absence which would be immediately covered by the Vice President until the cause of the absence has been resolved or a new President is elected, which means the Trump could sit out the rest of his presidency if the States felt like they could impeach, but not remove, and wanted to drag their feet on the trial in the Senate, which would be a process that was determined by the States Themselves as a procedural rule, which they can change at will!

    One of these days you will come to recognize the power of the Union! As a Union the States have immense, unchecked, Power, because of the internal Checks and Balances of Distributed Power the States enjoy as Member States in the Union!

    1. While the meaning of The Constitution is subject to interpretation, most interpretations do not involve the kind of word salad in some of the paragraphs above.

      1. The Constitution is not open for interpretation, it contains principles of republican Government, and must be applied as written! Only those who intend to control and benefit are interpreting the Constitution in a manner which suits their purposes! The Constitution needs no interpretation! And my word salad comes straight from the Salad bar of the Federalist Papers and the Constitution, maybe you should try reading before you try condescending!

        I don’t know who you are, or your background, but it definitely isn’t the Constitution or Governing Systems!

        1. “The Constitution is not open for interpretation”
          “The Constitution needs no interpretation! ”

          I guess the Supreme Court has wasted a lot of its time.

          1. His view is that the Constitution must be applied exactly as written except when he says it does not necessarily have to be applied exactly as written.
            That’s why I asked “where in the Constitution is congress given the right to subpeona the president”.
            If he’s going to keep repeating to that ridiculous line, let’s see if he can show us the words in the Constitution ( or “interpret” the words) that give Congress the power to subpoena a president.
            Is that “exactly how it was written”?

            1. There’s nothing Constitutional about anything we do today, that’s why a reply to your idiotic request would be futile, Congress is not assembled as Constitutionally directed and the President is exercising Powers’s that are not constitutionally granted, and the selection process for the President isn’t following and Constitutional methods.

              Maybe you should try reading the Constitution for yourself, instead of the Cliff Notes Version Provided by the Parties!

          2. Another uninformed person! To answer your question directly, yes the Supreme Court has Wasted a lot of time interpreting The Constitution to favor the agendas of those they have a conflict of interest. Notice also that the first 12 Amendments were ratified by 1804, and there wasn’t another amendment until 1865, the 13th which ended slavery and continued slavery all at the same time, then the 14th which tries to form a national electorate of only rich white males over 21, then the 15th to try to look like they opened the electorate to Black Males while still mandating that they vote for the white male candidates of the Parties choosing. Then the bulk of all other Amendments were between 1900 and 1970 all of which were written in direct violation of Article 5 of the Constitution, which states that no State can be denied their right of Equal Suffrage in the Senate!

            I tell you all this because if the Supreme Court was assembled in a Nonpartisan manner, without the conflicts of interest associated with their Partisan affiliations, then the Court would have been doing their Constitutional duty and forcing the States to Follow the Constitution as it is written and we wouldn’t have all their Partisan bickering, and Partisan Control of our Governing Institutions, and the Elective Processes by which our Governing institutions are assembled.

            So as my mother used to say, PaPa goes too when the wagon comes, this is a fire sale, everyone must go, every elected and appointed person within the Federal Government System must go, that’s everyone in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Departments, everyone, then the States must reassemble the Federal Government Based Upon the Constitution Unamended and the Fundamental principals of republican Government contained within Articles 1, 2, and 3, and yes, no interpretation is required, like mathematical principles the principles of the Constitution must be applied without interpretation.

            If I can assemble the government and specify the roles and responsibilities of every official and institution with only the Constitution and the current census, then why is there anything to interpret or amend unless you are trying to gain political advantage? And yes, I have done exactly that, I have modeled the Federal Government using only the Constitution and the 2010 Census, and guess what, there isn’t a party, or a Candidate for public office anywhere in that model, it has representatives not leaders, a true Grassroots Government Of, By, and For the People!

            If I can do it, then someone should be explaining why we aren’t using the Government the Constitution establishes? If you think I’m wrong, prove it, use the Constitution and the current census and try to assemble the government for yourself, then you can try to justify how we ended up with this bastardized Party System that is underrepresented, undemocratic, not even close to a republican form of Government, see Article 4 Section 4 of the US Constitution, and it actually doesn’t qualify as democracy of any kind.

            Now if you can’t read the Constitution and understand it, it is written on a 6th grade level, then I’d be happy to explain it to you on a level you can understand!

          3. No kidding Allan. If the constitution needs no interpretation, then why did Madison, Hamilton and Jay write the Federalist Papers?

              1. The Federalist Papers were a series of eighty-five essays urging the citizens of New York to ratify the new United States Constitution. Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the essays originally appeared anonymously in New York newspapers in 1787 and 1788 under the pen name “Publius.” The Federalist Papers are considered one of the most important sources for interpreting and understanding the original intent of the Constitution.
                https://guides.loc.gov/federalist-papers

                Yeah, what do I know.

                1. All you know is of the Federalist Papers, but you haven’t bothered to read any of them, or you would know how ignorant you are coming off!

                  Maybe #’62 – 64, and 68 by Madison and Jay and #77 by Hamilton is a good Start! For homework then?

                  You people don’t even know what you are arguing for or against! What a bunch of yahoos!

                  1. Federalist, why don’t you take individual ideas contained in the Federalist Papers and debate them with Olly. Based on my interactions with Olly I believe you will end up looking like a fool. The only reason for you not debate Olly is you already know the outcome and want to pretend there is substance behind your accusations.

                    1. Federalist, I don’t debate crazy, but let’s see if you will debate Olly on the Federalist Papers and if Olly will debate you. I perfectly well understand why he might not wish to waste his time. You have a habit of generalizing so much and providing so little hidden by your unintelligible thoughts. You might want to start the debate by quoting some of Federalist 62 that you seem to think important and then tell us why. Try to be pithy as that might help avoid your normal dysfunctional remarks.

              2. Your comment exposes your ignorance!

                Given all of the exclamation points you use I think you are channeling Thanos from Avengers: Endgame

                Dude!!!

            1. Thank you Olly for your addition to the question. My next question to federalist is was the US ever a Constitutional Republic and if so when did it cease to exist?

              1. Our Government was never a Constitutional Republic, it was established as a Confederated Republic, the Constitution is only the instructions for its assembly and its function.

                You people are a joke!

                You people couldn’t explain a Confederated Republic if you put all your heads together, much less what Congress is or the modes of Assembly and Suffrage in the Bicameral Legislature!

                What a bunch of imbeciles!

                1. Federalist, you might not agree with the Constitution but it leaves us with a Constitutional Republic. A confederation would be a group of seperate independent states. You are calling people that understand the Constitution better than you imbeciles. Where does that leave you?

                  A poor analogy would be a confederation: one dozen eggs packaged and transported together. Constitutional Republic: a dozen scrambled eggs.

                  1. You are a joke, and if you think you understand the Constitution better then me, then put your money where your mouth is! I’m willing to debate anyone anytime in the most public forum possible! Just tell me when and where to show up.

                    And by the way, there is nothing in the Constitution Unamended that I disagree with!

                    Immediately you believe you know more than the next person and you have absolutely no idea who I am or my background, that’s what makes you an imbecile!

                    1. “put your money where your mouth is! I’m willing to debate anyone anytime in the most public forum possible!”

                      I have read your responses that frequently are unintelligible even though you think they make sense. Perhaps to a disorganized and dysfunctional mind they seen normal but they aren’t. I have already made an overture for you to debate Olly on something you think you know more about than he. I am not a scholar of the Constitution but I know how to recognize crazy and crazy you are.

                      I hope Olly is willing to debate crazy but to convince you of anything is as hard as putting scrambled eggs back into their original shells. He will need everybit of his navy training to put some discipline into your comments.

                    2. FPR,
                      So you’ve read the constitution and the Federalist Papers. Let’s take this a step at a time. Why were the FP’s written? Why didn’t delegates from each state use your approach and beat their citizens over the head with the constitution? Obviously those delegates were sent for a reason. Clearly they knew far more about the constitution they created than the idiots that sent them. Why not just tell their state houses to read it and then vote to approve it? Why didn’t the delegates just badger the states into submission?

                    3. Sure, I’ll play along, to a point, even though your proposed question is ignorant on its face and has no relationship to the Constitution or the Federalist Papers!

                      The Federalist Papers are a comprehensive analysis of governing systems throughout history dating back to antiquity to elucidate why the convention made the choices they made and why it would produce a Governing system superior to, and more robust than, any other governing system, Republic or Parliament!

                      Many don’t understand, those who want to make everyone aware of the anti-Federalist Papers, that the objections of the Anti-Federalists were addressed within the Federalists Papers to show the fallacy of their objections, as well as, what the convention did to remedy their objections!

                      The delegates of the Constitutional convention did not just ram the Constitution down the throats of the States because they needed the Buy-in from the States to get the necessary compliance from the States to conform with the principles of republican Government the Constitution establishes. Each State then chose how they would proceed to ratification of the Constitution by their State, some held ratification conventions, which were mostly an assembly of the delegates of the State’s Legislature, some ratified directly in the State Legislature, but no matter how they chose to ratify the Constitution it was made by an electorate body which constituted the People of the State in their Collective Capacity.

                      Many also don’t realize that Jefferson not only was not involved in the Constitutional Convention, he disagreed with many of the principles in the Constitution which related to Equality and Equal Suffrage of the States as they are assembled in the Senate to provide Checks and Balances. Jefferson believed in the republican Principle but he objected to the constraints that the Senate assembled in such a manner put on the ability of the larger more populous states from controlling government through the Majorities they could control if our Government were a Unicameral Legislature instead of a Bicameral Legislature. But let’s get something straight, Jefferson wouldn’t agree with, or recognize, how we have assembled our Legislature, because the House today is like a Senate, which he detested, and he also believed in the republican Principle of a Confederated Republic in which each State would have independent Suffrage, not a Simple Republic where the Suffrage’s of the States are consolidated forming a National Government which would defeat the purpose, and ability, of a State’s Proportional Suffrage rendering the system incapable of reaching Majority Consensus Based Upon the States, and has changed Consensus to a Bipartisan Majority Consensus which the largest States have no authority by their Proportion of the Population.

                      I’m going to stop there because the reality is that the improper consolidation of the States into one Simple Republic if why we have dysfunctional Government today, as elucidated in detail by Madison in Federalist #63!

                      The United States, in Congress Assembled, The Union, which makes our Country the United States of America! Congress is an Assembly of the States as Equals with Equal Suffrage to reach Majority Consensus and Govern the Country as a Collective!

                    4. even though your proposed question is ignorant on its face and has no relationship to the Constitution or the Federalist Papers!

                      Why were the FP’s written?

                      Did I need to write Federalist Papers instead of FP so that you understood my question related to the Federalist Papers? By the way, given your hostility towards anyone questioning what you perceive as superior knowledge, is precisely why I asked that question and the others.

                      You still haven’t answered the original question. The constitution is a relatively short document. You claim everything there is to know is clearly spelled out in it; no interpretation necessary. It need only be read to understand what this new form of government will be. And yet you take on the moniker of FPR and lay claim to being the expert on those 85 papers. So why were they written? Do you believe the civics lesson those papers provided would have moved the needle for ratification if they had you out front berating the public? Nope. They would have seen in you the tyrant they didn’t want and would have rejected anything you stood for, regardless of its soundness.

                2. FPR,

                  Our Government was never a Constitutional Republic, it was established as a Confederated Republic,

                  I’ll freely admit that I have plenty more to learn. Your comment above and Hamilton’s below from Federalist 1 seem to not be in agreement. What say you?

                  But the fact is, that we already hear it whispered in the private circles of those who oppose the new Constitution, that the thirteen States are of too great extent for any general system, and that we must of necessity resort to separate confederacies of distinct portions of the whole.

                    1. Federalist, before you go why not try answering Olly’s question “Why were the FP’s written?”

                    2. I did answer his question, that fact that you are ignoring my answer shows that you have no intention of taking anything for an answer to a totally futile question.

                      A better question is why did they write the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation formed a Union of the States that got them trough the Revolutionary War Together!?

                      I’m done with this tread, and with you and your echo chamber!

                    3. “I did answer his question,”

                      Federalist you have all the answers in your mind where the answers provide you comfort. Unfortunately, you cannot put the answers on paper because they don’t make sense in the real world. The synapses in your brain connect dots that are otherwise unconnected or random.

                      You may now leave to the comfort of your fantassy world dream state where all the dots will magically appear reflecting the image you desire.

                    4. That’s pretty much it Allan. I’ve had many discussions with people on this blog and in other forums over the years. I cannot recall one person that responded in the manner of FPR that actually could prove their position. Certainly not with original source documents like The Federalist Papers. Sure, they might needle you a bit, but everyone that knows their stuff takes the time to prove it.

                    5. Olly, I had faith that you could quickly dispense with federalist. You did not disappoint. Thank you.

                    6. Thank you for confirming that you have no intention of being serious!

                      I quoted you, were you not being serious? I quoted Hamilton from Federalist 1, was he not being serious?

                      It would be the opposite of serious if I left unanswered the discrepancy between your self-avowed expertise on the papers and what Hamilton actually wrote.

                      Or was I supposed to just take your word for it? Now that would be unserious, would it not?

                  1. “given your hostility towards anyone questioning what you perceive as superior knowledge, is precisely why I asked that question and the others.” yet, you and your ilk defend tRump’s behavior. Love when wingnuts argue, the hypocrisy is mind boggling.

                    1. YNOT, who can’t handle the most concrete of arguments, is now attempting to handle an abstract argument. She can’t do it and demonstrates her lack of literacy everytime she tries.

                    2. yet, you and your ilk defend tRump’s behavior.

                      If praising his policies is defending his behavior, then guilty as charged.

        2. Federalistpapers,
          Given the comments that you’ve made, I wanted to ask if you’re referring to the U.S. Constitution or if you memorized the constitution of some other country.
          Keep telling yourself what a brilliant constitutional scholar you are.

          1. Tom and Allan,
            FPR’s sit down and shut up style is not something I’ve ever seen from anyone that actually understands and believes in our founding documents. Usually the style is patient, citing original sources and encouraging to those that may not have a clear understanding. And if that approach is not effective, then they cease to engage with that individual. This makes me think FPR is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Left always has a tell: they attack when cornered.

            1. If you have actually read anything that I have written, you’d know I have no tolerance for the left, the right, or the center, I want the Nonpartisan Government established by the Constitution and I’m in no mood to kiss anyone’s ass to get them on board.

              I would guess that I’m a true conservative, especially when it comes to my money, so this circus in Washington has got to end, the adults need to retake The reigns, and show the Parties the Door!

              Like I mentioned before, if you want this dysfunctional partisan Government, move to Europe or somewhere that embraces that form of Government and leave our Government to the other 80% of us which embrace republican Government as established in the Constitution!

              Good try though, it’s always the best to cast people that don’t share your opinions as the other!

              1. I’ve read a small amount of your post.

                Sorry but your writing sucks because it’s Boring, Yawn.

                You might instead make the point as simple as you can up front & then drag the reader/listener into all the sausage making plant.

                Maybe I should have posted the above & instead just posted a tech manual.

                1. I’ve read some of his comments, too. They’re not as entertaining as The Onion or Weekly World News, but they’re still pretty funny.

            2. “FPR’s sit down and shut up style is not something I’ve ever seen from anyone that actually understands and believes in our founding documents.” the name tRump comes to mind.

                1. He should because he never left.

                  What does that mean? Bot needs updating, get back to me when you are fully functioning.

                  1. L4D says–I’m not sure what Olly’s getting at. The only other commenter I can remember whose writing style was even remotely similar to federalistpapersrevisited was named patchatsamiably. However, the content of the respective comments from those two commenters is inconclusive on the question of identity. Besides, one occasionally sees brief comments under the name Pat C. that would seem to fit patchatsamiably better than federalistpapersrevisited. Curious and intriguing.

                  2. LOL! You don’t understand my comment and somehow that’s my fault.

                    For you and others of your ilk, it’s tRUMP all the time. To pretend to have that aha moment claiming the name tRump comes to mind is like the moronic landlord mentioning the name of his tenant not realizing he’s been living there rent free.

  10. the federal law does not state conditions for this demand and does not die the Secretary discretion to refuse such demands when properly made by a congressional committee:

    What does properly made even mean? A clearly defined legislative and oversight purpose? Or something as mundane as proper nouns and verbs?

    1. “What does properly made even mean?”, it means the same as “is” unless you are now firm believer in Clinton’s dictionary.

  11. It strikes me that the Committees have to state some semblance of a legislative purpose. Once they do so, the courts “must presume Congress is acting in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility to legislate and must defer to congressional judgments about what Congress needs to carry out that purpose.” In other words, the courts will presume that a Congressional statement containing some semblance of a legislative purpose is accurate. But you don’t “presume Congress is acting in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility” when no semblance of a statement to that affect is even made.
    What possible legislative purpose is Congress pursuing here? The bar for their explanation is low. But it is not non-existent.

  12. If the memo is correct in its analysis, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee can demand copies of any person’s tax returns and upon receiving them give copies to all members of the House and Senate, effectively making them public. That is scary.

    1. Absolutely, makes it wide open to use tax returns as political weapons as it appears it being done here. Presidents are already audited by the IRS, if they find issues they can take up the issue. A fishing expedition is not cause.

      Congress can pass a law requiring release of tax returns. If they take that route it should apply to all in the house and senate as well. That should ensure it never happens.

  13. To give credence to a request for the President’s Tax Returns – as incomplete as they appear they are (under audit) is a kin to putting lipstick on a flying pig. There IS NO LAW that requires any presidential candidate to release their tax returns. If there were, Candidates such as Joe Biden wouldn’t pass muster. Especially if a Forensic Audit was applied, which is what the #*+%)@ committee wants to do with Trump’s returns. I say STICK IT!

    1. Bob, we’ve been through this ‘audit’ stuff before.

      As far back as 3 years ago, every legal analyst said that tax returns can be viewed while under audit. So this excuse that “they’re under audit’ is just a lie promoted by Trump himself. ‘As though the IRS literally has his taxes spread out on a table and they’ll get all messed up if he tries to show them now’. ..It’s a lie..! Professor Turley would address that if it was a major barrier. ..It’s not..!

      1. they CAN be viewed by why should he restrict his own latitude of self defense against the agency? any normal taxpayer who makes a complicated set of returns would feel the same

        of course we know why. you want to pick at him and call him a cheat and a fraud and a spy.

        sorry, we don’t agree

        1. Kurtz, if you’re trying to argue that Trump’s taxes are simply too complicated for the average American to properly assess, then you’re publicly forfeiting whatever credibility you claim to have.

          The mainstream media is perfectly capable of having expert tax lawyers assess Trump’s taxes for us. And the best newspapers will surely do that. It’s not like the average Joe will have to navigate Trump’s taxes himself.

          Obviously Trump has something to hide. ‘Saudi partners, perhaps, who might raise conflict of interest questions’? ‘Russian partners, perhaps, who might be too intriguing’? ..Or perhaps Trump is nowhere near as rich as he claims..?

          These are all strong possibilities that need to be confirmed or dismissed. This idea that our democracy will be stronger if we don’t see Trump’s taxes stands logic on its head.

          1. OK well it’s fine for you not to find me credible

            but i read that old NYT piece on Fred’s estate and gift taxes and it was garbage

            so i don’t expect they will do any better on anything else

            in short, fractional discounts are a perfectly valid accepted and widely used form of estate and gift tax planning not evasion and not illegitimate in any sense. the laws on how much and the details have fluctuated over time but the NYT piece just implied it was all a fraud which is utterly false

            it’s the NYT that forfeited credibility on the topic not me, when they published that garbage

            go to any big firm back in the day when the estate and gift tax affected more people than it does now, and you would have found plenty of Democrat lawyer estate planning experts working for an abundance Democrat millionaires employing the same avoidance strategies specifically FLPs and fractional discounts for lack of marketability and lack of control. in fact in law school I learned about these things from a Democrat professor. it’s quite shameful this is now some kind of partisan ploy

            it was hardly a thing confined to old Fred Trump and it was fundamentally lawful avoidance and not evasion, bottom line. NYT failed just to smear someone it didn’t like

            1. Kurtz, this doesn’t necessarily relate the New York Times story. Of more immediate concern are conflicts of interest regarding foreign policy decisions. Like Trump’s complete dismissal of Karshogi’s murder.

              We, as voters and taxpayers, should know ‘who’ Trump has partnered with. To say it’s none of our business sounds willfully ignorant.

              1. We, as voters and taxpayers, should know ‘who’ Trump has partnered with.

                So the investigation of all things Trump carried out by Mueller didn’t do it for you? Trump doesn’t say what you want to hear and now you want Congress to do the IRS’s job? It does sound willfully ignorant for you to believe members of congress will have the professional expertise to analyze the volumes of tax documents better than the professionals within the IRS.

                1. Olly, if Mitt Romney can show his taxes, surely Trump can as well. To say it’s ‘none of our business’ is ridiculous. Every cabinet official has to show their taxes. Why should Trump get a pass on this??

                  1. if Mitt Romney can show his taxes, surely Trump can as well.

                    You mistake can for must. If you want to compel elected officials to show their tax returns, then demand Congress pass a law to make it so. Not just the office of the President but ALL elected positions. Why should Congress get a pass?

                    1. Olly, I can’t be sure if Peter has the intellect to make the distinction of “can for must”. I am not trying to be insulting but Peter’s responses seem to leave intelligent thought behind.

                    2. Peter’s responses seem to leave intelligent thought behind.

                      Allan,
                      He’s got company as his fellow lefty travelers continue wish-casting I want my oompa loompa now = a legitimate legislative purpose.

                    3. Olly said, “. . . demand Congress pass a law to make it so . . .”

                      Ha-Ha! The Chief just proposed the “legislative purpose” behind subpoenaing Trump tax returns and financial statements. (Ye Olde L4D)

                  2. Romney’s been out of the business world for 16 years. He has an asset portfolio.

                    1. Good point, Tabby, thank you!

                      Historically politicians from the business sector went to the Senate or Governor’s mansion first before running for president. That way there was some distance between their business careers and the presidency. That distance reduced the potential for conflicts.

                      If Donald Trump had a natural ‘genius’ for politics, he should have proven that ‘genius’ by spending time in the Senate or Governor’s mansion first. This idea that Trump had to start at the very top was insane to begin with.

                      Romney’s tax returns were not without controversy. They showed he had money in Swiss Banks and some accounts in the Cayman Islands, I believe. Still, Romney had the decency to be totally open. He didn’t just expect a pass based on a lifetime of privilege.

                      And it’s weird that Trump supporters want to extend privileges to Trump. Which goes to show what I learned years ago from working in Beverly Hills: ‘The rich expect special treatment and they get highly offended when treated like everyone else’.

                    2. Again, you found Barry Ticketpuncher perfectly acceptable. Piss off.

          2. They would be too complex for nearly all in the house and senate to comprehend and they are the ones that vote on the laws that make up the tax code. If they want to take potshots at Trump for deductions taken for losses, depreciation and the rest they should look in the mirror.

            1. “That they would be too complex” is pure narrative. The storyline. Speaking of hoaxes…

          3. The left is looking to spin Trump’s tax returns in a political move. There is little honesty on the left and when the IRS was doing bad things the left didn’t care.

            What we have is a left including members on this blog that are intellectually dishonest and would steal from another at the drop of a hat.

            1. That’s what gets you. The left is completely vacuous. What they want is to flash their middle fingers and dispossess the enemy. And they lie. All the time and about everything.

              This will not end well.

              1. This will not end well.

                Those on the Left are like that younger sibling your parents insisted you take with you and make damn sure to keep them out of trouble. They are ungrateful brats. Even as they get older and should know better, they are getting to be a bigger pain in the ass than it’s worth.

                You’re right DSS, this will not end well.

      2. I don’t really care what you think about this because YOU ignore the underlying motivation which is get Trump no matter how or what the cost! You just want to find another way to level charges against a President you don’t like. To that I say TS. I don’t care about his tax returns. Why would I? Who’s next? Anyway, who anointed Prof. Turley as the final word? So, as I said, STUFF IT!

        1. Dear Bob Miller: let me speak for myself as to “underlying motivation” for disliking Trump. I am an American patriot whose family roots go back to the founding of this country. Trump is not a patriot. His father purchased a deferment for fake bone spurs. Trump insults war heroes like John McCain and the Khan family. He praises White Supremacists. He brags about getting away with assaulting young women. I believe in the dignity and worth of all people and that everyone should be treated as we would treat Jesus himself if he were the one who is homeless, thirsty, hungry, sick or in prison standing before us needing our help or compassion. Trump is a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe and chronic liar who is driven by his narcissistic personality disorder. Everything he does is for personal attention and aggrandizement. He imprisons infants and young children to punish their parents for seeking asylum. Five have died this year alone while in custody. It just so happens that Trump has 5 children (that he has acknowledged so far). Do you suppose this irony occurs to him?

          As to why he should be investigated, he has defaulted on so many loans that he has turned to Russian oligarchs with ties to Putin to finance his businesses, which he is still actively involved in. Eric Trump admitted in an interview that Trump Companies get their financing from Russia. This alone should trigger vigorous investigation into his finances. Mueller did not look into Trump’s finances, so it is up to Congress to do so. His campaign fed sensitive polling information to Russian hackers who used it to target a social medial campaign against Hillary Clinton. The Russians understood the Electoral College process and used it to defeat the will of the American people as to their choice for President. Trump is deferential to Putin, and helps with the Russian agenda of lifting sanctions, undermining the UN and the EU. Congress was given a mandate by the American people last fall. Congress would be engaging in malpractice for not taking a deep look into Trump’s finances, his business relationships and associations.

          So, Bob, when you hear Hannity rant about “the Left”, “Dems”, “libs”, etc. “out to get Trump” maybe you should stop and think for yourself whether there is any merit as to the reasons why most Americans didn’t vote for him and have consistently disapproved of him since he was elected. He is not worthy of the office, and this is why, no matter how well the economy does, he will never receive the approval of most Americans. Most of us are patriots.

              1. We can start with this one, “His campaign fed sensitive polling information to Russian hackers “

                1. L4D says–The chain of custody on Fabrizio’s $767,000 worth of sophisticated in-house Trump polling data with detailed demographic analyses for Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota was from Manafort and Gates to Konstantin Kiliminik to Victor Boyarkin and Oleg Deripaska to . . . (“?”)

                  Well, admittedly the trail goes cold after Boyarkin and Deripaska. However, Trump, himself, listed Boyarkin in the election interference sanctions along side nine of the twelve GRU officers who had conducted the Russian hack and leak operation in 2016. However, Boyarkin got sanctioned for his work interfering in an election in Montenegro (I forget exactly when. But Manafort was in on that one, too.)

          1. Generations have been taught welfare and affirmative action.

            They think it’s normal.

            They think they are equal.

            They reject the American Thesis of Freedom and Self-Reliance.

            Generational Welfare and Affirmative Action – Don’t Leave Home Wiffout It.
            ___________________________________________________________

            Affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, rent control, social services, forced busing, minimum wage,

            utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, Education, Labor, Obamacare, Obamaphones, Social Security,

            Social Security Disability, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing,” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc.
            _____________________________________________________________________________

            God Bless America! God Bless “Free Stuff!”

          2. “Dear Bob Miller: let me speak for myself as to “underlying motivation” for disliking Trump. . . .” (Etc., ad naus.)

            “Characterised by large heads, short tails, and powerful bills and feet, NUTHATCHES advertise their territory using loud, simple songs.” (from Wikipedia)

      3. “they’re under audit’ is just a lie promoted by Trump himself”. NO, Trump has been told by his Accountants that to release returns while under an audit can and would allow conclusions that might NOT be included in the returns once the Audit has finished.
        I have had extensive RE holdings, and I know what that is like, first hand, with an audit going on for several years. As for having his taxes spread out on a table and they’ll get all messed up shows the depth of your ignorance about these type of matters. Like I said, STUFF IT.

        1. Bob, the mainstream media thoroughly covered this angle 3 years ago when Trump used the same excuse. His accountants aren’t saying that. His lawyers aren’t saying that. It’s Trump who’s saying that!

            1. Bob, get out of the rightwing bubble and check it out yourself. Google: “Can taxes be released if they’re under audit?”

              You won’t find any credible stories supporting Trump’s assertion.

  14. I want to see all the financial records of Speaker Pelosi. I heard she ran a cathouse when just out of college.

  15. I am reminded of a statement attributed to President Andrew Jackson as a response to Chief Justice John Marshall: something to the effect that Marshall has made his decision, now let him try to enforce it. The country, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court survived. If the Democrats don’t like it, then let them impeach Mr. Trump and maybe suffer the consequences of electoral retribution.

  16. It amazes me that we are debating fine legal points about the Trump administration while purposefully averting our eyes from the entire obama and clinton actions as if none of their extraordinary acts were worth any legal discussion. I would like a fine legal mind to explain this great gap in interest?

    1. Trump generates more web traffic than Obama and Clinton

      Silly. JT isnt the purist he paints himself to be.
      If Drudge can generate millions of hits, JT figures he can too

    2. OK, Alma: here it is: Hannity’s rants cannot create facts worthy of investigation. In fact, HRC WAS investigated for months, for Benghazi and for the fake “e-mail scandal”. Nothing turned up, so it’s over.

      1. why do you think the email scandal was fake? tens of thousands of emails on a private server not in compliance with federal requirements for official business and in many instances the handling of classified materials.

        basically Comey just said she was negligent and it was a weak case. that’s not the same as exonerating her. and it was an AG level call to make not his. but whatever

        tens of thousands of violations of law, things that would have landed a smaller fish in prison. now, i can understand why Comey said what he said and accept it at face value and assume that a reasonable AG might have had the same conclusion, that the case was not worth trying to make in court against her. ok. but they underlying facts were clearly not in compliance with law.

        you can have legal noncompliance be demonstrated factually without being able to mount a successful case out of it. in the email investigation it was pretty obvious factual noncompliance. or do you dispute that she had a private email server and was using it for government business? and that classfied materials circulated on the private server?

        if you do then you’re disputing the facts, not the legal conclusions about them

        benghazi was a different kind of thing, it was a shameful failure on her part in my mind, but that was not illegal in itself, just incompetent

        1. As you’re explaining this to Medusa, the rest of us can chuckle as she claims to be a lawyer.

        2. She wasn’t negligent. It wasn’t an occasional e-mail sent from a personal account. She had a contractor build a server in order to frustrate FOIA requests. When she was exposed, people in her employ set about destroying evidence.

          1. one can give Comey / Lynch the benefit of the doubt that she was merely negligent.

            HOWEVER the funny thing is, the way I read the classified materials statute, is that negligence CAN be charged as a criminal violation. unlike most other types of crimes which require intent. so being careless is supposed to be enough. even so I would not have wanted to try the case against her. Why? Just because she is a big wheel and a jury would be tempted to give her the benefit of the doubt just because of it.

      2. “OK, Alma: here it is”

        I believe she requested a response from a “fine legal mind,” mmmkay, not someone who believes that US senate elections are influenced by gerrymandering.

    3. Why the gap? Obama and Clinton are in the rear view mirror. Trump is not. He’s the Now, current, with a vivid if polarizing personality, far more interesting than Clinton or Obama at the moment.
      Regarding Obama, what specifically are you referring to as “extraordinary acts?” (Besides Libya and 8 years of non-stop war…the marionette)

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