tv House Ways and Means Committee Considers Resolution Seeking Presidents... CSPAN March 28, 2017 4:06pm-6:43pm EDT
tool being utilized. i think abused, for obvious political purposes. >> abused? >> stl tl is absolutely nothing to promote a substantive policy discussion on the real life challenges facing the people, families and job creators. we're sent here to serve. with his resolution minority seeking to have the treasury department collect ten years of president trump's individual tax returns along with the potentially extensive amount of other confidential financial information and then turn that information over to congress. my knowledge and our committee's entire history no single individual has ever been targeted in such a manner. let me say that again. while this committee has at times sought tax return information as part of our legislative responsibility to oversee the administration of our nation's tax code, this would be the first time the committee has exercised authority to weigh into the tax returns of a single individual
with no tie to any investigation within our jurisdiction. furthermore, there is no mechanism through which the treasury secretary could legally comply with their -- this request as written. as i'm sure the sponsor of this resolution is aware, sections 6103 only permits confidential tax information to be furnished to the committee, not to the house, representatives as a resolution directs. but beyond its obvious legal shortcomings, supporting this resolution would be a clear invasion of privacy. i would ask that all of our committee members take a step back for a moment and consider the dangerous precedent of abuse that would be set by this resolution. if congress chooses to use this power to single out president trump for political purposes, invade his privacy and seize his confidential tax information, what prevents them from doing the same to other americans?
civil liberties and privacy are still rights worth protecting and i intend to protect them. i will pose this resolution. irurge all members of our committee to do the same. with that, i'll yield to ranking member neil for his opening statements. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as you can tell, my voice, i have a cold. it's not there. every american president since gerald ford has yielded his tax forms for the public. and with that, i yield my time to mr. paskerel. >> thank you, mr. ranking member. thank you, mr. chairman. i hope teat the end of this marp we'll end up on the same page about the significance of this issue. and our responsibility on this committee. it is our responsibility under the constitution mr. mr. chairman, very clear, very clear
to provide oversight of the executive branch and root out conflicts of interest. that is our responsibility. it defined in the constitution of the united states. breaking with 40 years of precedent, donald trump refused as a candidate and as president to release his tax returns. which begs the question, what is he hiding? we know that under section 6103 of the internal revenue code this committee, the committee on ways and means, has the authority to obtain for review, for review president trump's tax returns. we have justifiable cause, mr. chairman, not only to review simply for tax compliance but also for conflicts between his
government position and his business interests. february 1st i wrote you a letter. i didn't go to the press. i didn't have a press conference. i didn't have a press release. i heard no reply. i wrote a simple second letter. on march 2nd. this time it was a bipartisan letter, democrats and republicans. with 165 members in the house of representatives. and multiple republican membersst house publicly called for mr. trump to release his tax returns including mr. grabela from florida, a member of this committee. they recently published a record from a professor at law at the university of virginia. former chief of staff of joint
committee on taxation which is one of the committees under 6103 that can ask for this information. mr. yen wrote about the legal authority of this committee possesses. the 1924 law, the result of conflict of interest concerns about the treasury secretaries andrew melon at that time, an executive branch officials involved in the teapot scandal gives congress the authority to examine trump's returns, reveal them to the public without the president's consent. members of congress cannot blame the absence of information solely on the president's intrans i jens. instead, they must explain why they favor the same secrecy that the president does. mr. chairman, i ask unanimous
con se consent to submit this letter for the record. >> without objection. >> mr. chairman, if i may, i want to present to you, before i continue -- this is from the teapot dome scandal. i hope you have a chance to read it. i give it to you in good faith. >> thank you. >> is president trump responsible for this as well? >> you'd be surprised, mr. chairman. >> you have to have an investigation, no? >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> you would like to continue? >> yes, sir. he has xpounlded on this issue and an academic paper. it's in the tax law lawyer
volume 69 number one which he writes that following the teapot dome scandal, congress had already sought to obtain from president coolidge the confidential tax return information of some of the alleged principles -- >> i'm sorry, all time expired. but we will be moving in a moment to strike the last word. so the committee will now proceed consideration of house resolution 186. without objection, the measure considered as read and open for amendment at any point now do they wish to strike the last word? m mr. levin, you're recognized. is that a parliamentary inquiry? >> i thought we were going to take ten minutes on opening statement. that's what we were told. >> not to my knowledge. >> we weren't told from the heavens. we were told from the staff. >> yeah.
our regular order is five minutes. opening statements. >> ok, mr. chairman. >> and we'll have plenty of time for members to yield to you or any other member if they wish. >> mr. chairman? >> i'd like to move to strike the last word if that is appropriate. >> yes, sir. >> i give my time to mr. paskerel. >> great, thank you. >> thank you, mr. neil. >> congress had already sought to obtain for president coolidge the confidential tax return information of some of the alleged principles, you'll read about those principles in that book i just gave you, involved in that scandal. and the president ultimately acceded to the requests. but this experience not only demonstrates to congress, it's me to have direct access to the information independent of the president's authority. i submit for the record professor yin's paper. >> without objection. >> the conflicts are piling up. smoke is billowing from the
white house. there is a gray cloud and my good friend nunes and the cloud of smoke has become too large, grows every week too, ominous to ignore any longer. just this week we learned that the president's top adviser and son-in-law jared kushner sat down with the chief of the russian bank, the largest state oen owned bank during the presidential tranigs. they placed this bank on the sanction list after vladimir putin of russia and next crimea an began meddling in the ukraine. despite claims that nothing of consequence was discussed at the meeting, mr. kushner took this meeting at the behest of russian ambassador which was attended to
to deliver a message. last week the fbi director james comey confirmed in testimony to the congress that his agency had began a counter intelligence investigation that the russian interfeerns and whether any associates of the president might have kplclueded with the russian government or the 2016 campaign. i didn't say that. direct director comy said. that adam shift on the intelligence committee aed sthaed there is more than circumstantial evidence now that president trump's campaign coluded with russia attempts to influence the election and can hurt the clinton campaign. this is on top bhaf we already know about russia's connections to trump, associates like michael flynn, carter page, roger stone, and the new
attorney general jeff sessions. paul mantiford appeared to have laundered money with ties to russia using accounts. m manifort lobbied for a russian billionaire close to putin to advance putin's agenda by influencing politics, business, and news conference inside the united states of america. >> would the gentleman yield? >> no. this paid in $10 million a year for this work. it's right in front of us! manifort also was the primary architect rerepublican national convention last year which mr. trump aides changed the party platform to the most pro russian
since before the cold war. as in any good investigation, mr. chairman, we must follow the money. the financial times reported that an investigation that it conducted uncovered evidence of ties between run trump venture and an alleged international money laundering network. using the title deeds and correspondents, investigation found that the family accused of laundering millions and apartments in a building partly owned by mr. trump, pursued business ventures with one of his partners. mr. chairman, i submit for the record the financial times article, "dirty money." submitting it now. >> we know that following six
bankruptcies mr. trump had trouble getting loans and financing for his real estate business. german bank deutsche stepped in when wall street stopped lending giving at least $300 million in loans for trump properties and more personally to trump's daughter and son-in-law jared kushner. deutsche bank has been fined for criminally transferring $10 million out of russia. >> thank you, time has expired. you are recognized. strike the laugh word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> it's interesting. i think there only a couple us on this committee that ever filed a tax return and ever did a complicated tax return. i'm not sure who all. but i have for the last 30 plus years. and it's interesting my friend from new jersey that you're rattling off about things you would never find on a tax return. i've done everything from international tax returns, complicated tax returns, to
catastrophe returns with 500 pages of information and some of the things you're talking about would never be found on a tax return. that you're talking about. that's the issue that's in front of us now. searching for information on a tax return. let's face it, release of presidential tax returns by candidates is tradition, it's not law. and if we're going to -- if we abuse the authority given to the tax writing committee of the tax code to on taint president's tax return in this manner, then i guess question pick any political person we want to go after the tax returns. further, it would set a dangerous precedent to other citizens' tax returns to be similarly released for political purposes in the future. coming from someone who has audited, reviewed, and prepared tax returns, 90% of what you talked about you'll never find on a tax return. you'll find interest income. you'll find dividend income. half the time you are won't even find where that income is coming
from. what i will tell you, you will find ut is on a disclosure report. which we all have to file and president trum health care plp . we already have two congressional committees investigating president trump's ties to rush yachlt we shouldn't be interfering with that. but in the end, i would hope that someone who has never prepared a tax return, somebody who really never understood the complications of filing a tax return would understand that you're not going to find the information and this is a political mission, not a mission of fact, which is unbelievable that i'm hearing that especially again. i'm not too sure how many people on this -- in this panel, on these panels have ever even filed a complicated tax return. there's a couple of us. but what you're looking for, i'm afraid you're not going to find. i'm not sure why we would interfere with other investigations. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. levin, you are recognized. strike the last word.
>> let me respond to you. i think you're rong about 90%. but even fits with 10%, let the public see it. let the public see it. this is what we said not so recently. the cia, fbi, and the nsa jointly found putin and the russian government aspire to help president-elect trump's ee election when possible. this committee should use its no authority to better understand the connections between the president and his family and russia. the president now says he wants to lead the effort on tax
reform. his past returns are directly relevant to our forthcoming discussions about tax reform. it's important to understand how such tax reform would benefit the president, his 564 financial positions in domestic and foreign companies, and hisself reported net worth of more than $10 billion. the republicans selectively released private taxpayer information for 51 organizations in 2014. this is what mr. yen said about that. although the disclosures occurred in connection with the committee's allegations of possible criminal misconduct by a high ranking official, lois learner, most of the return
information released was completely unrelated to the oversight objective and no disclosure was necessary to support the committee's claims. naz wh that's when you released those returns n fact, there does not appear to have been any purpose whatsoever for the disclosures other than possibly providing a partisan political advantage to the committee majority. we're asking for the disclosure because it's relevant to the discussion about the russian connection. and you all and we say we want to take up tax reform? the president wants to lead the effort with hidden tax reform, tax returns? that is totally incredible. i yield the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. levin.
>> my friend from ohio, i want to continue with my opening statement. let me say this, you're not only wrong yush wrong, you're totally wrong. i hate to say that to a friend. but i'm telling you eyeball to eyeball. that's how i am. first of all, what he files, whoever files you, me, ufrpg louie, doesn't matter. what he files depends on how he holds his business interests. he's a partner in many, many ventures. we're going go into that, mr. chairman. he is a shareholder in s corporations, et cetera, et cetera. he has to fill out how many pay forms under that schedule? >> would the gentleman yield? >> no, i am not going to yield. not today. not today. this is too serious.
he has to file, perhaps some schedule c. and et cetera, et cetera. the two pages that we received and the public received are a joke. you know it and i know it. we're not a joke. i take everybody on this committee seriously. i know you have the best of intentions. but for you to accuse me of doing this for political reasons, you are 110% wrong. we also know that mr. trump said that trump organization saw money this is what he said, not me, pouring in from russia and that russians make a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets. we know they tried to develop
real estate in russia. not unlike what they did in china. we'll get to that. we have plenty of time. >> thank you. the gentleman's time has expired. >> mr. kelly, you are recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. from my experience has been and i've also done some work as far as paying taxes, how people prepare my taxes for me. i thought it was to the irs if they want to do an investigation on me. they can do an investigation on me. i don't think it was ever a subject of a congressional request. i'm going yield the remainder of my time. >> well, i appreciate the gentleman yielding some more time. again, my friend from new jersey, you have ever done a k-1? do you realize what's on a k-1? >> i have no dealings like this. >> and i have done k-1s. if you look on a k-1, just so you know, it doesn't reflect where the income came from. it doesn't reflect who the income came from. it lists the company or lists an entity and it then lists
amounts. so you say waunt to see k-1s, it's interesting to me to see what you want to see on a k-1? i've seen plenty of them. there is no such information that you're asking for on a k-1. you also mentioned money pouring in from russia. unbelievable statement. where do you think -- >> i didn't say that. >> my time. where do you see that on a tax return? tell me anywhere that you see that on a tax return. >> the chairman is asking me a question. >> the gentleman controls the time. >> i have not ever seen that on a tax return where you can justify money pouring in from anywhere. seriously. some of your questions -- i have done tax preparation for 30 years. i'm still a tax professional. i figure i might leave here some day and need to do that again. i have to tell you, what you're asking for trade marks, you are talking about trade marks. i've done tremendous amount of tax returns. tell me where a trade mark is on a tax return? tell me where you're going to get information on a trade mark? you keep digging into thing onz trade marks -- on tax returns
which aren't there which is why this is irrelevant. which is why this is political. it's irrelevant. you can't find it. you won't see it on a tax return. and that's why i don't understand. but i'm going to continue to listen to all these things you blif are on tax returns. i'll keep asking the same questions. tell me where they're at on a tax return. i yield back. >> thank you. you are recognized to strike the last word. >> mr. chairman, what businesses that donald trump owns does he have shares in? that's why there are many schedules, not just -- i just mentioned one k-1. two sheets do not tell us anything. our constituents are demanding transparency. you're giving me complicity. a majority of americans say they want an independent commission to investigate possible links between the trump campaign and
the russian government. and the petition to release trump's tax returns is the number one petition on white house.gov, 1,085,000 signatures as to have day. the watergate investigators had a willing partner in the internal revenue service. who found tax violations and the returns of president richard nixon. >> they result in 18 corporate officials and 17 corporations pleading guilty to violations of campaign contribution laws. the ways and means committee was involved in reviewing president nixon's tax returns. we have the authority. we have the cause. with all the conflicts we know
about and all that we don't, we must gather all the possible information we can. the irs is best equipped to conduct financial investigations into possible crimes dealing with money. the president's tax returns provide us with the clues. i'm going to conclude with this in my opening statement, mr. chairman. today protests against the russian government's opponents are being silenced by their government. this would give us pause here in the foremost democracy in the world. what are we doing here in the usa to protect our hard earned freedoms and opportunities in contrast to the snuffing out the voices of dissent in russia? our answer should be open government. transparency. and honesty.
as john lou wois say, we need to get in the way. we need to get in the way of your will not to insist on the truth. i don't want any miff colleagues to be accused of complicity. but that's where you are going. and the book on tyranny a yale history professor argued that the democracy is fragile and has in the past evolved into fascism. but the passive consent of those who go along to get along. to defend democracy, he argues, we must defend institutions. inconstitutions like the press, the courts, the congress. i do not say this to be an
alarmist. during watergate, congress protected the integrity of federal investigations. many members instead slandered the irs and attempt to impeach its commissioner. they continue to keep trump's tax returns hidden even from the review of this committee. >> let's think about that. do my and colleagues on this committee have the courage to put their country first? or will we continue to hide the president's secrets, bury our heads in the sand, and prove derelict in our duty to protect our institutions. you know vanderbilt said what i
do i have to worry about the law? i have the power. our constitution and our country is paramount here. i urge the committee to unanimously support the resolution. please report this favorably and bring it to the floor. mr. chairman, we have a mountain of evidence to offer into the record and we'll get to it today. >> thank you. mr. reid, you're recognized. strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in regards to the constitution and my good friend from new jersey recognized and speaks of, one of our near and dear freedoms in america is the right to privacy. and every citizen has that right. and with the balance of my time, i yield to my good friend. >> thank you, mr. reid. i'm going to go back to my
friend from new jersey and ask him where on a tax return is he ever going to see a list of every investment of every individual that -- whether it's mr. trump or anybody else. i'm telling you, tax returns do not list investmentes. they don't. they list the disclosure reports. again, i can only tell you, i practice in the tax world for 30 plus years. i have looked at tax returns up side down, every which way. and i have never seen a tax return that lists every investment anyone has. you continue to talk about things that are not on a tax return. there are things that you're concerned about are on the disclosure report. the only time you would ever show an investment on a tax return is when you sell an
investment. but you're not go to list investmentes you don't have any transactions on. again, i'm not sure where you're going with. this but there is no one more concerned about the integrity of this institution or this committee than many of us including me on this panel. you better watch when you go after citizens tax returns. these are political purposes in the future. we could pick anybody's tax return and just saying we want to look at it. and if you're going to look at it, ask -- i really love to hear. i want to keep listening. i'm waiting to see everything you ask for, i wish you could show me on a tax return where it's going to be. because then maybe i'd agree with you. but what you're asking for is not on a tax return. that's why this is just a political, just a political push. i yield back. >> thank you. strike the last word.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. let me begin by asking you, i mean, you would submit, would you not, that there is no legal obligation for the president to release his tax returns? >> would the chair -- my friend -- >> gentleman yield? >> i'll yield. >> thank you. my friend, there is nothing in the law that says he must -- or any president must do this. that is absolutely correct. >> thank you. >> that's why we're here. >> thank you. >> i reclaim my time. i'll be asking another question which is you would also agree, you would not, and i enjoyed your history of the long -- the long history of this law as it's been interpreted really only a few time in our nation utilization and frankly by this committee. but there's no question that the intent of the law, notwithstanding the intent of
the law is to prohibit disclosure of private tax return information by the government by us. it's to prevent it. up to the point in time where it could be a felony if you don't do it. you would agree with that, would you not. >> would you ask the question one more time? i missed two words. >> the intent of this law. >> oh, i know the intent of the law and the code. and the code, sir. we know how the code came about. through the chair. it was written into the code in 1924 after that scandal i talked about several times. >> but it was -- >> that's why it was done. >> thank you. >> i claim my time back. >> may i finish my answer? >> no. >> mr. chairman, i claim my time back. what i'm saying is we know up through 1976 when it was rewritten the intebtst law is to prohibit disclosure or private tax return information. to prohibit. it's not to expand the great powers.
it was given to this committee so we could make sure that this kind of information was not made public. >> that's not true. >> it's not your time. >> mr. chairman, let me -- >> not at this time. >> i thought he was yielding. >> mr. chairman, let me reclaim my time for the conclusion of this. let me just -- this language, the committee enacted these taxpayer protections to prevent the use of taxpayer information for any other use than the administration of our tax laws. the provision under which you claim authority to release this information section 6163-f was enacted in response to the inappropriate use of taxpayer information by the nixon administration. very disclosure that you put to a vote today violates the very taxpayer protection this is committee meant to create. would you agree with that statement? >> no. i would not. under any circumstance.
>> may i reclaim my time? >> it came about in 1954, long before nixon. >> i reclaim my time. >> he reclaimed the time. >> would you be surprised that that was not my statement. that was the statement of your colleague mr. levin during the period of time when he made that explicit argument during the learner circus. >> you would yield? >> i will not yield. >> because you're afraid of my answer. >> mr. levin. >> the language is explicit and unambiguous. he may have his moment when he has his moment. i give my time back. >> thank you. you are recognized, strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. earlier this month on an amendment that i offered by the committee vote ford a second time along party lines to continue covering up president trump's tax returns. it's apparent from the comments that are being made today that this will be the third time.
i think the committee has clearly struck out on this issue. every president with rare exception for years, for decades, has provided information. while we have a fundamental disagreement about what the tax returns might show and why they should be shown to the american people, i think one thing we should be able to agree on unanimously, we have never in the history of this country had a president quite like president trump. mr. chairman, i would say that the cover-up eventually will be uncovered and it is just a question of how long this process goes on. i hope it will end sooner rather than later.
i believe there is a serious national security issue here. the house investigation has been totally discredited within the last week. but whether it was discredited or not this committee has a role to play with reference to tax returns. and when you have the president's son-in-law talking with former kgb official running a bank in russia and you have an indication from the president's son a few years back that russians make up a disproportionate pros section of a lot of our assets and that's a direct quote, there is reason to want to know whether there is anything in this tax returns showing payments to russians or payments from russians. it may be that the information is contained within the form on individual taxes that president trump may have filed. but there may well be an indication in those returns of
information that will lead to that information. and that's why i believe the president went back on his promise to the american people and refused to disclose the very information he said he would disclose in the future when these audits were concluded. i want to know whether he has as his son said continued to have a pretty disproportionate cross section af lot of their assets with the russians. the contacts between president trump and his associates and putin's gang are ram pant. and we find out more about them with each passing week. but in addition to the national security concerns which are very
real, i want to emphasize that the members of this committee are misconstruing section 6103, narrowly construing it really to justify this cover-up of the trump tax returns and that this committee has a significant interest in these returns as it relates to the administration of our business. both with refrnz to our trade agenda from which we heard about earlier today given the large number of trade marks that president trump was able to magically get approved from the chinese earlier this year and with reference to our tax responsibilities. after all, this is a gentleman who has bragged during the course of his campaign about his ability to manipulate members of the congress and to get pretty much whatever he wants in the tax code. i know our complex tax laws better than anyone president trump said, anyone who ever run for president and i'm the only
one who can fix them. the question is whether he's going to fix them for himself or the american people. without the tax returns to noi what conflicts may exist for him, what self dealing may exist for him, we'll never know. section 6103 deals with more than tax administration. it deals with the assessment collection and enforcement, publication and statistical gathering functions under the laws and statutes. there is every reason why in term of its work and tax and the fact that we are considering major tax legislation that we would want to know that whether he will benefit personally and that's why he is advancing these various legislative changes. thank you. >> the gentleman's time expired. you are recognized, strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, you know my home state of south dakota is home to the missouri river.
the missouri river is the longest river in north america. it runs from montana to st. louis. and it's full of fish. in fact, the state fish in south dakota is the walleye. you know this, too. state fish is also the walleye for mr. paulsen as well. and, you know, like many south dakotan as cross the country, i love to fish. i enjoy it very, very much. but there is one thing that every angler on the river knows and that is that the law is the law. it doesn't matter who you are. you get four walleyes that you can catch. they may be different lengths. they might determine where you catch them but everybody gets four walleyes. that's the limit. it's the same thing wour tax code. the law is the law. the tax code should ab plied fairly, whether you're a farmer, whether you're a small business
person, whether you're president of the united states, period. it shouldn't treat people differently because of who they are or what they do for a living and the tax code has been pretty clear on that. he has singled out this issue for political reasons. and for political purposes. that's what this whole markup is doing today. and my colleagues' resolution is a stunt that some e-mail question the legality of. from my understanding, the treasury secretary may be breaking the law if he were going to comply with the language that is in your resolution. i'm not sure if my friend had a any legitimate lawful purpose for this resolution. he is suggesting that we single out a single taxpayer for political purposes and that would set an incredibly dangerous precedent. the law should apply equally just like the fishing limit. it doesn't matter who you are. the limit is four walleyes.
i urge you to reject his resolution. with that, i yield back. >> you are recognized. strike the last word. >> gee the sbeg intentions are this afternoon. questioning his intentions as an american citizen to request the president do what he pledged to do in the election to the american people. at some point that he would divulge his tax returns when the audit is over. he made that pledge. i would remind the gentlemen lady from south dakota. four fish or not, he made the pledge. he misled the american people and he also said that once the election was over, he didn't have to give over his taxes anymore, because he won.
that's right. he's president today and we're not. we get that. but he made a pledge. he promised the american people he would disclose his tax returns once the audit was over. i would remind the gentlemen lady that in terms of 2016, we're not under audit and yet he still refused after becoming president to disclose those taxes. to impugning the integrity of the gentleman is irresponsible to do that. that's not our motivation. our motivation is to find the truth. this is an aspect of it. the issue here is not about politics. i know that's uncomfortable. but it's not it's about our country. it's not about embarrassing you, either. but don't impugn the integrity of the gentleman from new jersey or anyone else here who
questions the president. it's about answering the basic question who is president trump fighting for? himself or the american people. he issued an executive order staying that pipeline makers in the united states must use american steal. i support that. later he issued an order allowing the steel for keystone pipeline to be imported from foreign countries. this out lateral action deplates the past to the steal producers. why this sudden change, an uncharacteristically quiet reverse ol on u.s. steal we don't know fully. but we know donald trump owes hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to banks all over the
world including deutsche bank. we know deutsche bank used to hold 100% share in a german steel company, propping it up for years as it competed for years with american makers. we know douch bank is experiencing some financial difficulties. essentially, german steal makers would repay deutsche bankers would prop up the bank during its financial troubles. we know president trump reversed his "made in the usa" order on steal. the period up to 2025 offers the german steal industry good protects p prospects for a sound future." one of his largest creditors may be rescued by german steal makers, that president trump put
his financial well-being ahead of anyone else. i don't know. i might be wrong. quite frankly i hope i'm wrong. it's easy to me know wrong, show us the return. if president trump is not being controlled by outside influences he can prove me wrong by releasing tax returns and financial statements like lever president since nixon has done. but we don't know why he is saying one thing like i will show my taxes once the audit is over, yet do another once he's. . it's an uneven playing field for the american worker. the question will continue to hack over him and the republican colleagues who probability him until we get definitive answers. i will ask a colleague to yield we time in the future if they
have additional time. so mr. speaker, i yield back the four seconds i have remaining. >> thank you mr. crowley. mr. pascrel is the author of the resolution. >> she impugned his intentions for bringing this legislation to the committee today. >> so mr. crowley -- >> his intentions. >> regular order. m ms. nome didn't impugn his integrity. >> i'm asking questions mr. chairman. >> ms. -- >> no. i think the american people know exactly what's going on. >> they absolutely do. >> mr. higgins, your floor.
strike the last word. >> as a committee we are preparing to undertake a comprehensive reform, the first time in 30 years. transparency and full disclosure are essential to the integrity of this committee and to this institution. the president loves to boast about his huge and extensive business holdings. the president brags about gaming the tax code for his own personal gain. he says paying no taxes makes him smart. this, despite his self-reported net worth of mor than $10 billion. the american people have a right to know if the president would personally gain from proposals he will ask this committee to consider. the american people have a right to know the president's tax
returns offers clarity about business ties he may have to russia, to germany, to saudi arabia, or any other foreign interests that may benefit them and or him. mr. chairman, this congressional and this president have an almost exclusive obsession with taxes. why aren't we asking for his tax returns? last week should have been about reform and making it more affordable and accessible to american people. it was not. it was a massive take away the from the american people and a massive tax give away to health insurances and their cronies. the first thing this committee did, on the pretense of health care reform on page 67 in seven words was "give a massive tax cut to insurance executives."
as i mentioned before, united health care, one of the largest health insurance companies in america, paid their chief executive officer in 2014 $66 million. one salary, one man, one year. united health care is under investigation today by the department of justice for defrauding medicare program of billions of dollars. the first thing this committee did under the pretense of health care reform was give him, united health and their cronies -- a massive tax cut. perfectly and exclusively relevant to the work of this committee as it pursues tack reform for the first time in 30 years. with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you.
mr. thompson, your time is recognized. strike the last word. >> thank you mr. chairman. my friend from pennsylvania made it a point to clarify whether or not this is the law that a presidential candidate or a president has to disclose his or her tax forms and i think we all know the fact, it's not. but it has been customary for the last 40 years. every president, every presidential candidate has with the exception of this one. if my friend would like to join me, i would be happy to introduce legislation making it the law. it's pretty clear from the testimony we've heard today that this is a pretty important issue, especially given the tax return -- the tax reform that we're endeavoring to take on. so i make that offer to my
friend and maybe we could avoid contentious hearings like this in the future. and mr. chairman, as far as your question as to how often we're going to do this and use this, from my perspective, i'll vote to see any president's tax forms who doesn't voluntarily submit those when running for the office. i think it's an important part of the electoral -- election process and it's something that clearly the american people want to know and want to see. when we talked about this in the last hearing, i talked about its impact on national security. i'd like to go back to that. this president has numerous overseas investments, more than any president in our history. yet we know less about the financial -- finances of this president than any president in
the history of our country. remember what happened was general flynn, the last time we were here, had just resigned as national security advisor and there were reports that he was potentially in the position to be blackmailed. this is important from a national security perspective. since then, there seems to be a new report almost daily about someone associated with this president having some undisclosed connection to russian interests. this again is a national security issue and something is that we should all be concerned about. the attorney general met twice with the russian ambassador but didn't disclose those meetings. paul manafort had a $10 million
dollars a year contract with a putin associate. $10 million a year! i don't know of anybody who has a $10 million a year contract with anybody, let alone a foreign government that happens to be our adversary. jared kushner, we've already heard the president's son-in-law who melt with the russian ambassador, with general flynn. we've learned the that he's had meetings the head of a russian state-owned bank. not just any russian state-owned bank but one who is under u.s. sanctions because of their actions in crimea. hi think this is an issue we really need to take to heart under a national security perspective. i think we should vote on this. i yield the remainder of my time to mr. pass crow.
>> mr. dharm i want to get into what the definition is of what we can do under 6103. what i've heard on the other side is absolutely incorrect. 6103 is not limited to tax administration as you mr. chairman gave as the reason for voting no the last time, this is an incorrect interception. this was not just an administrative directive. 6103-f. it was not. in fact, section 6103-i is specifically related to disclosure, that is not related to tax administration. 6103-i, disclosure to offers or employees not relating to tax administration. so intimate that tax administration is the whole
purpose of the disclosure on the 6103 is simply not true. >> thank you. all time has expired. mr. smith from missouri is recognized. strike the last word. >> i'm from the show-me state. and this hearing clearly has showed me that this is just a bunch of political grand standing. when you look at the law, president trump has been obeying the law. he has to fill out personal personal financial disclosures. we as members of congress have to fill out personal financial disclosure. i have right here his. it's over a hundred pages. a lot of the questions that individuals on the other side of the aisle are asking, they just need to read this. it's broken up in numerous part. part one, filer's positions held
outside of the united states. it's disclosed. part two, filers assets and income. it's disclosed. part 3, agreements and arrange jmgts. it's disclosed. i could go on and on with the nine different parts. this is all about political grand standing. there's cameras in this room. these people on this side are upset they lost an election and they're trying to take points at the president. the voters inning the eighth congressional district of missouri knew that president trump never issued his tax returns and they still supported him because they believed he was the right candidate for our country. what i can tell you is that according to the law, he has fulfilled the guidelines. nowhere in the law does it say he has to address their concerns that they're bringing up. what it does is they have to
bring forward their personal financial disclosure statements and he's done that. with that, mr. chairman, i yield. >> mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman. >> i ask unanimous consent to have that form that my good friend mentioned submitted into the record along with the 564 position that is the president says that he holds that are outlined in there. >> will the gentleman kneeled for a clarification question? >> what's the gentlemen lady's inquiry? >> i'm just curious as to what financial form it is. is that an fec form or can you elaborate? >> well, whatever it is. >> the form is what it is. >> all time expiresed. >> is there an objection to that. >> yeah, there's an objection. he's stepped out of the room for the moment. >> sir, you're recognized.
strike the last word. >> one, this committee is about to embark on a very ambitious and difficult task of comprehensive tax reform. it's once in a generation opportuni opportunity, and as lock as the current president refuses to play by the rules, we won't know what the implications will be on his vast empire out there. as we won't with most billionaires or millionaires. he will be directly involved, i assume, of what the final bill will look like. just for the sake of self dealing, it would behoove him to release his tax returns. he may not have a legal litigation to do it but the second reason i think this resolution is important is because there's a higher
principle as stake here for any democracy to survive. it's called transparency, openness, disclosure, it's called letting the sun sign ihi. it's called the truth. when that's eroded, the very pillars of our democracy is eroded, il legitimacy of our country rises. if anyone doubts that, this past week we've had news coming out of russia of tens of thousands of people taking to the streets in 92 separate communities to protest the corruption that the current president, the current russian president is perpetrating on the russian people. unless we want to see that take over the streets of america, i think president trump needs to start playing by the rules and that's my final point before i
yield to mr. pascrel. we have a president who doesn't believe that the rules of democracy apply to him. a well-established president dating back to president ford where every candidate has voluntarily disclosed their tax returns. all of them felt it was a legitimate purpose for disclosing that to the american people except for this guy today. he's also gone further in attacking the very foundations of democracy, whether it's free speech of or the independence of the -- to attacking the credibility of our intel communities and even the krebltd of this co-equal branch of government, the united states congress and that is being tested today in this committee. are we going to act as a
co-equal branch or as lap dogs for the president. this is something that's going to dog him every day in his administration until those returns are finally disclosed and it's going to sceeep in. with that i yield to my friend from new jersey the remainder of my time. >> with your permission, i'd like to ask mr. meehan this question. may i? >> do you yield to mr. meehan after you ask the question? >> yes. >> ok. >> mr. meehan do you believe that president trump should release his tax returns and all the supplementals that go with it. yes or no? >> can i -- >> yes, i wish you would.
>> i wish he would. i call upon him to do it. >> thank you. i think you're being honest about it and that's what with i expected. >> and may i -- >> mr. dharm, i want to look -- mr. chairman, i want to look at your interpretation. >> mr. pascrel controls the time. >> mr. chairman i want to look at your particular interception before we get into the scandalous material we've uncovered. i want to look at your explanation of 61 to -- 6103 which was put into the code. i wrote a letter requesting your leadership and requesting the tax returns of the president. i didn't get a return. i know you're busy. but our letter made some different points and the request that i make to senator widen and
his colleagues made to chairman hash. >> all time is expiresed. >> i'm come back when -- >> you're recognized. strike the last word. >> i'd like to yield my time to mr. meehan. >> gentlemen lady yields. >> i want to make one comment. i know we've had a series of characterizations that have gone on through this. when i say this, i don't for a minyem pun the intentions of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. in fact, i knthink they know i respect them. both mr. pascrel and mr. kind have used words today "tyranny" mr. pascal's word, illegitimacy was mr. kind's words. as a former prosecutor, there's
one thing that has been lacking this, which is notwithstanding the discussions. we are talking about a volume -- we've established that whether we would like it or not, this american citizen has a voluntary opportunity but not an obligation. because he's choosing not to voluntary to do it, notwithstanding all his predecessors are doing, people don't like that. so what we're doing is let's kick the door in and let the cops get in the house and rip it apart and see if we can find a little evidence. once we get that evidence, then we'll use it and we'll see if we can get something on this guy and maybe we can lock him up. as a career prosecutor that's the kind of instincts which i know violates the sensibilities
of everyone in this room. we don't do things like that in america. if we have probable cause and when you look at the nixon situation and when you looked at the things that happened in tea pot dome, you had activity by those individuals that was established, there was probable cause and at that time you've moved forward. for this process to take the integrity of this committee and turn it into that kind of a witch hunt, that is the tear any. that is what is wrong. i just don't believe that this -- >> will the gentleman yield on that point since you invoked my name? >> yield the remainder of my time to mr. ra nacey. >> thank you mr. meehan. mr. cass parallel, a friend of mine -- pascrepascrel, if you ww
that resolution -- >> not a chance. >> well, you haven't -- >> gentleman controls if time. >> if you would sit down and explain -- we'll do it in a room where we can look at a tax return where you can tell me exactly what you're trying to get at and if you can show me, i'll co-sponsor the resolution with you as to what you think you're going to get. but i think that the point in time you're not going to be able to do that but i'm willing to sit down and work with my good friend from new jersey to look at every thaum he thinks he's going to find on a tax return and when we agree -- i believe what you're looking for, you're going to find on the disclosure statement. but if you withdraw the resolution and are willing to sit down and talk about a tax return and talk about the schedules and talk about what's on them, i'd be more than willing to listen as to where we can come with common ground see what you're looking for, but when it comes to russia and those things remember, we
already have a hearing, a number of hearings going on in regards to that but i would yield time -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> i'm going to dwreeld my colleague and friend to respond to my request. >> i would like to. mr. dharm? >> the gentleman yields to you, mr. pascrel. >> thank you. a friend from ohio. we're going to have follow-up on debts and losses and charitable contributions, etc., et cetera. that's a lot of supplemental information that goes with your tax returns. you need to look at all of it. i had questioned -- >> i yield back -- i reclaim my time. look, i've done enough tax returns. you're not going to get the details you're looking for. >> oh, really? >> that's why i asked you but i field some time to mr. rice. >> mr. chairman, the resolution
as posted lists three items they're searching for, mr. trump's debts held by foreign companies. you will find that on the disclosure, not on his tax return. >> all time is expired, excuse me. ms. sewell you're recognized. strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to express my strong support for this critically important house resolution we're considering today and i'm proud to serve as an original co-sponsor. as we know, the emoluments clause's creation was intended to forbid relationships that might lead to interruption. for four decades, four decades, mr. chairman, presidential nominees have without fail released their full tax returns. yet we now have a president who promised, he made lots of
promises on the election trail that he's broken, and this is yet another one. he promised to release his tax returns and now that he's president, he refuses to. so my question today is what does our president have to hide? fortunately, congress, and in particular this committee, has the authority to act and do something about it. the ability of our committee to review and disclose an individual tax information has been in law for 93 years. the authority was used in 1974 to review and make public president nixon's tax returns. during our very first committee organizational meeting, my colleague, representative doggett offered an e-mailed provi -- on the president's financial ties and obligations. i've also joined 165 of our
colleagues, republicans and democrats, in signing a letter asking both this committee and the senate financial committee -- finance committee to use their authority to request the president's tax returns. additionally, i voted in favored of house resolutions which would have directed this house to do the same. however, each effort was defeated and blocked by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. the reality is this issue should not be bipartisan -- i mean should not be partisan, mr. chairman. it should be truly bipartisan. we all should all care to know the truth about the president's with conflictings of efforts. the public needs to know what ties the president has to russia and other foreign governments and what influence those investments and past actions
have on his future as president. this is not only a historical precedent but it also a national security issue. as a member of the house intelligence committee i'm in a unique position to state that the recent resolutions about possible russian contact with the trump campaign officers only heightens the recognition of -- doing tax reforms, it is imperative for the public to know and understand how such tax reform will benefit the president. his 564 business holdings and his self-reporting net worth of more than $10 billion. now is time to put aside politics and hold this president to the accountability that we've
releasing his returns. given this president's evasiveness, his conflicts of entry, congress has a constitutional responsibility to use its authority to obtain the records required to perform oversight. that's clearly in the public interest and it's incredibly important to the public. we know that 75% of the americans have said he should release the tax returns, including 50% of his supporters. are president trump is no longer a citizen. he's an elected president and works for american taxpayers. he's boasted about his knowledge of tax loopholes and has made that a guide for us as we go
through tax reform. the american people need to know if and how their president has paid his taxes before entrusting to him far reaching changes to the tax returns. his returns in particular would tell us what he's paid in taxes, what tax breaks has he claimed, does he have offshore accounts? this is important things we need to obtain this information the public definitely serves an answer to that question. we are going to keep trying because people deserve to know what conflicts of interest, foreign or domestic, may influence the president's decision making. excuses or alternative facts should be unacceptable to all of
us, republicans or democrats. i urge folks to pass the pressure. >> every time we've asked the question, whether it be in this committee or outof this committee in other circumstances, about the president's taxes or the supplementalings that go with it and the disclosures that was referred to early before we get the answer that -- it raises more questions. i think both sides ld agree with that. when we get into the specifics of all these 550 or 60 investments, there are going to be more questions.
6103 allows for the disclosure of rurps for a number of purposes. if you haven't read it, listen please. one the disclosures of return for use in criminal investigations. disclosure to state and local law enforcement agencies in the case of a missing or exploited child. three, disclosure of information to apprise appropriate officials of criminal or terrorist activities,ing etc., etc. but to pronounce that disclosure under 6103 is limited to disclosure for purposes of tax administration is absolutely false taking this a step
further, 6103 f is limited to tax administration, that claim is untrue. f provides a virtually blanket authority with respect to to disclosure of the committees. the section outlines specific processes that need to be filed with respect to disclosure, including the tiermt that the return be examined only while in executive session. >> full time has expired. m mr. swiekers, you're recognized. strike the last word. >> thank you. let's allow mr. rice, a tax attorney, to finish his comments. >> there are three items. mr. trump's held by foreign governments and foreign companies. you will find them in the
disclosure, not in the tax returns. mr. trump's investments in foreign enterprises. you'll find it in the sclushs and not the tax returns. this apparently has to do with mr. trump's. mr. trump's tax avoidance maneuvers or loopholes has nothing to do with mr. russian -- with any russian ties, has nothing to do with our national defense. they may or may not like what ducks that mr. trump takes but he is not, under 6103 are required to disclose his tax return. 6103 starts off by saying tax information shall be confidential unless and it list as series of exceptions.
if a child is missing, if there's a criminal action. none of those apply here. very clearly do not apply here. you're saying that there's some kind of a threat to our national security if he doesn't disclose the returns. i propose to you, if we have a disagreement with them we can invade their privacy, that is far more of a throat our national security than whether mr. trump's disclose his tax returns or not. >> will the gentleman yield? >> no i will not. >> it's not his time to yield? >> getting to know you and your individual talents, so i've been sitting here listening. so much of what you're hearing, i'm sorry to hurt your
feelings -- but is theater. i've heard everything from german banks to steal to this, to that. come on. the fact of the matter is if you're being intellectual honest, you would go to the disclosures and the disclosures -- if you're having trouble finding them. >> mr. chairman. >> i can find the internet link for everyone here. but my great concern is -- >> mr. chairman. >> he has the time. >> will you yield? >> no. >> let me finish. >> impunld our honesty, why not? >> no. i've learned if you want to sound offend, scream into the microphone, which is great for intellectual discourse but the fact of the matter is what so many of you are asking for is the weaponization of this committee. do we all end up here in the near future and there's someone who we hear dodgy stories about
and do we get to sort of weapononize this process and look at them? painful what you ask for, because this could go down a very ugly path and the fact of the matter is so much what we're boviating, if that's the proper way to phrase it, is already out there. >> yield back. you're recognized. >> if as the other side claims, president trump's tax returns reveal so little, he has nothing to hide. yet we have a president who breaks 40 years of press dented by with holding his tax returns. it makes the american people and the world wonder what he's hiding. in the last three months we've seen how his continuous use of the trump properties is
completely riddled with conflicts of interest. nearly one out of three days he's been president, he's visited a property. he's flown to mar-a-lago 17 times. in his third weekend in office he brought prime minister abe to mar-a-lago and discussed things over dinner. he decided to double mar-a-lago's fees. now he says he plans to host the president of china at mar-a-lago next month. this runs counter to the nation's security. in fact, we don't even know if the members of mar-a-lago hold
security positions. it's clear that the president is marrying business and government in a way that's not been seen in modern democracies. and that is unacceptable. as the k3450e9 prepares to take up tax reform and the president has stated he would like to play a central role in that process, disclosure of these returns is critical to clarifying how much president trump will personally benefit. i urge my colleagues to do what's right and pass this resolution and i yield the balance of my time to mr. pascrel. >> the gentleman who shot offer his mouth --
>> mr. pascrel -- >> that's what he -- >> that's form 5471, information return of a shareholder or a passive foreign investment company or qualified elected 23u7d. that's form 8621. annual returns to the report transactions with foreign trusts in receipt of certain foreign gifts, that's form 3520. statement of specified foreign financial assets is on form 4520. he doesn't know what he's talk about. for him to talk about honesty and you didn't say anything, is that the way the rest of the hearing's going to go? because i'm not going to be the civil person i've been up till now. >> thank you mr. -- do you yield back to mr. gray?
. the house of representati s representatives -- the house ways and means committee has taken recess. in the meantime we'll show you the opening from this hearing on president trump's tax returns. >> good afternoon. i'm going to keep my remarks short today because frankly, this resolution is a procedural tool being utilized for obvious political purposes. there's absolutely nothing to
promote a substantive policy discussion. with this resolution north seeking to have the treasury department collect ten years of president trurchl's individual tax returns along with potentially extensive amount of other tax information and turn that information over to congress. to my knowledge and our committee's entire history, no single individual has ever been targeted in such a manner. let me say that again. while this committee has at times sought tax return information as part of our legislative responsibility to oversee the administration of our country's tax code, this will be the first time we've exercised the authority to weigh any tax returns. there is no mechanism through
which the secretary could legally comply with this request as written. as i'm sure the sponsor of this resolution is aware, section 6103 only prevents confidential tax information to be presented to the representatives, not the house. supporting this resolution would be a clear invasion of privacy. i would ask that all of our committee members to take a step back for a moment and consider the dangerous press dented of abuse that would be set by this resolution. if congress chooses to use this power to single out president trump for political purposes, invade his privacy, and seize his confidential tax information, what prevents them from doing the same to other americans. civil liberties and privacy are still rights worth protecting and i intend to protect them. i will pose this resolution. i urge all members of our
committee to do the same. with that i kneeled to ranking member neal for opening statements. >> as you can tell my voice, because of a cold is not there, but before i yield to mr. pascrel, every american president since gerald ford has yielded his tax forms to the public. with that i'd yield my time to mr. pass trel. >> thank you mr. ranking member, mr. chairman. i hope at the end of this markup we'll all owned up on the same pa
page. that is our responsibility. it is dwienl efined in the constitution of the united states. breaking with 40 years of press dented, donald trump has refused as a candidate and as president to release his tax returns, which begs the question, what is he hiding. we know that under section 6103 of the internal revenue code, this committee, the committhous and means committee has the authority to on tachb for review president trump's tax returns. we have justifiable cause, mr. chairman, not only to review simply for tax compliance, but also for conflicts between his government position and his business interests. february 1st, i wrote you a letter. i didn't go to the press.
i didn't have a press conference. i did not have a press release. i heard no reply. i wrote a simple second letter on march 2nd. this time, it was a bipartisan letter, democrats and republicans. with 165 members of the house of representatives as signatories. and multiple republican members of the house have pupcally called for mr. trump to release his tax returns, including mr. gra bellow from florida. george yen, professor of law of the university of virginia, former chief of staff of the joint committee on taxation, which is one of the committees under 6103 that can ask for this
information. mr. yen wrote about the legal authority this committee possessionings, quote unquote. the 1924 law the result of a conflict of interest concern about the treasury secretary andrew melon at that time and exclusive branch officials involved in a tea pot dome scandal gives authority k congress the authority to review the tax returns. members of congress cannot blame the absence of information solely on the president's intranny sense. >> without objection.
>> mr. chairman, if i may, i want to present to you before i contin continue, the latest issue of historic tea pot dome scandal. i hope you have a chance to read it. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> is president trump -- >> u be surprised. >> we'd have to have an investigation. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> would you like to continue? >> yes. >> yen expounded on this issue and academic paper part of preventing violations of the tax code in which he writes that following the tea pot dome scandal, congress had already sought to obtain from president
coolidge the confidential tax return information of some of the alleged principals -- >> all time has expired but we will be moving in a moment to strike the last word. the comet will consider measure. now, does anyone to strike the last last? >> mr. revin, you're recognized. >> question. >> is that a parliamentary inquiry? >> i thought we were going to -- ten minutes on the opening statement. that's what i was told. >> not to my knowledge. >> we weren't told from the heavens. we were told from your staff. >> yeah. our regular order the five minutes opening statements. >> ok, mr. chairman.
quote unquote. and as senior member of this committee i admire that. the cloud of smoke has become too large and ominous to ignore. just this week we learned that the president's top advisor in son-in-law jared kushner sat down with the chief of russia's largest state owned bank during the transition. the united states has placed this bank on its sanctions list after president vladimir putin annexed cry mere and began medaling in the hew crane. mr. kushner took this meeting at the behest ofd russian ambassador kislyak which was attended to, quote unquote, deliver a message. last week, the fbi director
james comey confirmed the testimony to the congress that his agency had began a counterintelligence investigation. into russian interference and whether any associates of the president might have polluted the russian government during the 2016 campaign. i didn't say that. director tomby said that. kmang adam schiff has said there's more than circumstantial evidence now that the campaign colluded with russia's attempt to influence the election. this is on top of what we already know to russia's connections to trump, associates like michael flynn, carter page, roger stone, and a new attorney general, jeff sessions. paul manet forth, a former trump
campaign manager appears to have laundered money from a party of an ex leader of ukraine with ties to russia using accounts in kergistan. they also lobbied for a russian person by influencing politics, business, and news coverage inside the united states of america. >> would the gentleman yield? >> no. this ol gark paid him $10 million a year for this work. it's right in front of us. manafort also was the primary architect at the republican national convention last year which mr. trump aged has changed the party platform to the most pro-russian since before the cold war. as in any good investigation, mr. chairman, we must follow the
money. the financial times reported that an investigation that it conducted uncovered evidence of ties between one trump venture in an alleged international money laundering network. using the title deeds, using bank records and correspondence, investigation found that they koska family, accused of laundering millions of the departments in the building partly owned bid mr. trump, pursued business ventures with one of his partners. mr. chairman i commit the article "dirty money: trump and the connection." we know that following six bankruptcies mr. trump had trouble getting loans and financing for his real estate
business. german bank deutsche stepped in when wall street stopped lending, giving at least 300 million in and more personally to trump's daughter ivanka and son-in-law jared kushner. the dutch bank has been fined for criminally transferring $10 billion out of russia. >> thank you. time is expired. strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's interesting. i think there's only a couple of us on this committee that have ever filed a tax return and ever done a complicated tax return. i'm not sure who all, but i have for the last 30-plus years. it's interesting, my friend from new jersey, that you're rallying off things you would never find on an tax return. i've done everything from international tax returns to tax returns with 500 pages of information, and some of the things you're talking about would never be found on a tax return that you're talking
about. that's the issue that's in front of us now. searching for information on a tax return. let's face it. release of presidential candidate's tax returns is voluntary, not law. i guess we can pick any political person we want to go after their tax returns. furthermore, it would set a dangerous precedent that they could be released for political purposes in the future. coming from someone who has audited, reviewed, and prepared tax returns, 90% of what you talked about you'll never find on a tax return. you'll find interest income. you'll find dividend income. half the time, you won't find where that income is coming from. what i will tell you you'll find is on a disclosure report, which
we all have to file and president trump filed. we already have two congressional committees investigating president trump's ties to russia. we shouldn't be interfering with that, but in the end i would hope that someone who has never prepared a tax return, someone who has never really understood the complications of filing a tax return, would understand you're not going to find the information, and this is a political mission. not a mission of fact, which is unbelievable that i'm hearing that, especially again. i'm not too sure how many people on this panel or any of these panels have ever filed a complicated tax return. there's a couple of us, but what you're looking for, i'm afraid you're not going to find. i'm not sure why we would interfere with other investigations. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. strike the last word. >> well, let me respond to you. if there ever were a present who needed to disclose his tax
returns, it's president donald trump. i think you're wrong perhaps about 90%, but even if it were only 10%, let the public see it. let the public see it. this is what was said not so recently. the cia, the fbi, and the nsa jointly found in, quote, putin and the russian government aspired to help president-elect trump's chances when possible. this committee should use its authority to better understand the connections between the president and his family and russia. the president now says he wants to lead the effort on tax reform. his past returns are directly relevant to our forthcoming discussions about tax reform.
it's important to understand how such tax reform would benefit the president, his 564 financial positions in domestic and foreign companies, and his self-reported net worth of more than $10 billion. the republican select i haviv s released private tax information for 50 organizations in 2013, and this is what mr. yen, who has been cited, said about that. although the disclosures -- and i quote an article -- occurred in connection with the committee's allegations of possible criminal misconduct by a high-ranking official, lois lerner, most of the return information released was completely unrelated to the oversight objective and no disclosure was necessary to
support the committee's claims. that's when you released those returns. in fact, there does not appear to have been any purpose whatsoever for the disclosures other than possibly providing a partisan political advantage to the committee majority. we're asking for the disclosure because it's relevant to the discussion about the russian connection, and now you all and we all say we want to take up tax reform? the president said he wants to lead the effort with hidden tax reform -- tax returns. that is totally incredible. i yield the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. levin. my friend from ohio, i want to continue with my opening statement. let me say this.
you're not only wrong. you're totally wrong. i hate to say that to a friend, but i'm telling you eyeball to eyeball. that's how i am. first of all, what he files, whoever files, you, me, uncle louis, doesn't matter. what he files depends on how he holds his business interests. he's a partner in many, many ventures. we're going to go into that, mr. chairman. he is a shareholder in s corporations, et cetera, et cetera. he has to fill out how many k forms under that schedule. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i am not going to yield. not today. not today. this is too serious. he has to file perhaps in schedule c and et cetera, et
cetera. the two pages that we received and the public received are a joke. you know it and i know it. we're not a joke. i take everybody on this committee seriously. i know that you have the best of intentions, but for you to accuse me of doing this for political reasons, you are 110% wrong. we also know that mr. trump said the trump organization saw money -- this is what he said, not me -- pouring in from russia and that russians make a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets. we know that the trump organization repeatedly attempted to secure trademarks and develop real estate in russia. not unlike what they did in china. we'll get to that. we have plenty of time. >> thank you. the gentleman's time has
expired. mr. kelly, you recognize strike the last word. >> i thank the chairman. my experience has been and i have also done some work preparing taxes, but i always thought it was up to the irs if they wanted to do an investigation on me, they could do an investigation on me. i'm going to yield my time. >> well, i appreciate the gentleman yielding some more time. again, my friend from new jersey, have you ever done a k-1? do you realize what's on k-1? >> i have no dealings like this. >> i have done k-1s. just so you know, it doesn't reflect where the income came from. it doesn't reflect who the income came from. it lists a company or it lists an entity, then it lists amounts. when you talk about you want to see k-1s, it would be interesting for me to understand what you want to see on the k-1s because i've seen plenty of
them, and i can tell you there is no such information you're asking for on a k-1. you also mentioned money pouring in from russia. unbelievable statement. >> i didn't say that. i quoted him. >> my time. where do you see that on a tax return? tell me anywhere that you see that on a tax return. >> the gentleman is asking me a question. >> the gentleman controls the time. >> i have never seen that on a tax return where you can justify money pouring in from anywhere. seriously, some of your questions -- i have done tax preparation for 30 years. i'm still a tax professional. i figure i might leave here some day and have to do that again, but i have to tell you you're talking about trademarks. i've done a tremendous amount of tax returns. tell me where a trademark is on a tax return. you keep digging into things on tax returns which aren't there, which is why this is irrelevant, when is why this is political. it's irrelevant.
you can't find it. you won't see it on a tax return. that's why i don't understand, but i'll continue to listen all these things you believe on tax returns. i'll keep asking the same questions. tell me where they're at on a tax return. i yield back. >> thank you. you're recognized. strike the last word. >> mr. chairman, what businesses that donald trump owns does he have shares in? that's why there are many schedules. i just mentioned one, k-1. two sheets do not tell us anything. our constituents are demanding transparency. you're giving me complicity. a majority of americans say they want an independent commission to investigate possible links between the trump campaign and the russian government. and a petition to release tax
when the chewing stops, recognize for the last word. we'll give you back those 15 seconds. >> i thank the chairman, and as always, i thank him for the dignity that he brings to these hearings. this is always a pleasure as a member of the committee to learn from your colleagues on the committee. i rise in strong support mr. pascarel, the gentleman from p pat paterson, has been persistent in his goal and desire to achieve what i think is just pure common sense and that americans have the right to know. and sometimes on this committee, you know, things can get heated, and one side is accusing the other of being on a witch hunt. the other side appears to be saying, no, there's a cover up.
it's that great justice hand who said democracy and freedom is that which leaves you not too sure. and in this case, there's more than enough evidence on both sides to leave people not too sure. so in that vacuum, it's obvious that what's needed here is the president to be forthcoming. i especially appreciated the words of mr. mee han, and had the president had the wisdom, he would have nominated him to be attorney general in this great country of our's. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i take that as a compliment, mr. meehan, but i'm also reminded by what my grandfather would say. in cases like this where there is a back and forth between both sides, my grandfather would say
it's an old peter finley done lie. trust everyone, but cut the cards. and the american people deserve to have the cards cut here. in fact, they may need a reshuffle and a new deal in order to get to the truth, the plain and simple truth. with that, i yield to mr. crowley. >> another example why we need to see these returns and why we, the committee, should see, we know in 2012, the trump organization signed multiple contracts with developers for a planned five-star hotel and residence called trump international hotel and tower, a hotel that remains unopened to this day. we know the developers behind this project were close relatives and business associates of a former transportation minister and one of the country's most corrupt
oligarc oligarchs. f this law also makes it a crime for an american company to unknowingly benefit from a partner's corruption if it could have discovered illicit activity but avoided undertaking that due diligence. the gentleman in question earned a salary of $12,000 a year, but was a billionaire. that's a big question. while the trump organization claims they have followed the law, did they not realize this guy had been accused of being incredibly corrupt? come on. maybe that's why they refuse to release any detail of the investigation or payments made to or by the trump organization. as an aside, i should mention that this corrupt family is also accused of having ties related to iran, and we don't know to
what extent iranian companies were involved. don't the american citizens deserve to at least know that answer, especially since some iranian entities have been involved in the killing of u.s. troops? don't americans deserve to know the full truth? let's release the tax returns to the committee and prove me wrong. if there's nothing there, if donald trump did nothing illegal, if there's no conflicts there, then what do we have to be afraid of? if there is something illegal and corrupt, why are you all protecting him? let's get to the bottom of these questions now so the american people will win and not donald trump's interests. i yield back. >> mr. larson controls the time. >> mr. chairman, no one in any of the hearings we've had have said the law says the president
must give us his taxes. no one has said that we want -- we don't -- this committee, as was just mentioned, would go into private session and then decide what we would do. so mr. chairman, it's very clear what the rules of our committee are. >> yes, sir. all time has expired. mr. rice, you're recognized. strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i was struck by mr. larson's quoting justice hand and particularly with respect to these three items that mr. pascarel seeks in his resolution to expose president trump's tax returns. items one and two, as i said earlier, would not be disclosed by his tax returns. they are, however, are on his financial disclosure, which anybody can see. number three, mr. trump's use of tax shelters, abatements, or
other loopholes to avoid tax liability as if there is something sinister there -- hand spoke very clearly on that. tax lawyers are very familiar with this hand quote and cite it often. judge hand said, anyone may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible. he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the treasury. there is not any patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. over and over again, courts have said there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs to keep taxes as low as possible. everyone does so, rich and poor alike, and all do right. for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands. taxes are enforced exactions.
to demand more is more cant. i yield back. >> strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it has been sort of an interesting exercise here. i appreciate the back and forth. for me, one of the issues that is most critical is that for the first time in american history we have a president who has continued in office with his family conducting far flung business activities with multiple entitlements -- entanglemen entanglements. there is vast potential here to monetize the presidency, which when a person's brand and the way these efforts have been manipulated by the president
ought to give pause. i'm of the opinion that it's no longer just a good idea to examine the president's tax return. i think that it is imperative. there are all sorts of issues. each week we're finding more connections with the russians coming out seemingly every day. we're all aware of the $100 million payment from a russian buyer of a home that donald trump just bought not too -- not too much earlier for $40 million. what was going on with that transaction? can we find out what improvements were made dealing with offshore accounts? his stated opposition to the alternative minimum tax, we've only seen one tax return in the last 25 years, but out of that revealed that there was some $30 million in alternative tax
payments. how much does he stand to gain with this advocacy for eliminating the alternative minimum tax? these are things that the american public, i think, is entitled to know. i think it's important for the committee to have to evaluate the interaction that we're going to have with this administration, with this president who with his family is conducting ongoing business activities around the world involved with a wide variety of foreign interests in terms of lending and people who are involved with partnerships and utilizing his properties. we've never seen anything like this. i think there is good reason for all previous presidents since -- with the exception of gerald ford, since richard nixon to deal with disclosure, but i think in this case it's imperative. we see a president whose public
approval is plummeting. we see these entanglements. we see we're spending upwards of 500,000 for his family as they go back and forth. raises questions, legitimate ones that i think we ought to explore. i for one would hope that we would step up and be able to do our job to help the american public understand what's at risk. and i see my friend from texas. >> with a question. >> is the gentleman aware -- >> does the gentleman yield? >> i do. >> -- on the partial 2005 return if mr. trump were successful and the alternative minimum tax was totally eliminated, he would have paid a mere 3.48% of his income? that would have been his right.
about the size of an employee's social security contribution, and that would have been it on $150 million in income. that's the kind of self-interest you're talking about that he could have in any tax revisions that this committee chooses to make. >> yes. i'm reclaiming my time. i mentioned he would stand to gain $30 million, but i appreciate you're putting it in perspective. but for the alternative minimum tax, he would be paying less than postal workers -- >> and would you further yield for unanimous consent to put into the record -- we've heard so much about this financial disclosure form, but all 564 positions on oge form 278e, i don't know what the chairman's objection is, but i would ask unanimous consent to put this entire financial disclosure into the record. >> i have a couple quick questions. is that the president's
financial disclosure? >> it is. >> is it similar to the financial disclosure that we as members of congress have? >> i don't know that it is. >> but that identifies 550-some entities? >> 564 positions. >> quite a deal of information. without objection. >> is there objection? there's no objection. >> without objection. >> i'll give you back 13 seconds that you gave me. >> thank you, sir. the gentleman yields a negative amount back. ms. sanchez, you're recognized to strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the representative for his tireless quest to bring this ridiculous issue hopefully to a conclusion. it's hard to add more to what has already been said on the subject, and i'm beginning to feel like it's broken record on this side of the desk with our arguments in favor of what mr.
p pascarel is trying to do, but i guess we're going to continue to press forward in an attempt to get president trump to make good on his promise, his promise. he promised to release his tax returns. somebody who makes a promise and then doesn't keep it is either somebody who lies or has something to hide. the last time the ways and means committee addressed this topic i reminded my colleagues we take an oath to uphold the constitution. we represent to our constituents and the nation as representatives elected to a co-equal branch of government. holding the executive branch accountable is a minimum step in fulfilling that duty. information regarding potential conflicts of interest, whether a person has been unduly influenced or whether a person violated codes of conduct,
statutes, or laws is absolutely necessary oversight. since president trump has refused to follow the custom and practice in releasing his returns, i think it is our duty to support this measure to try to obtain that information. since this committee last voted on this issue in february, we've continued to hear numerous news reports linking the president or his close associates to entan e entanglements or worse with the russian government on an almost daily basis. until we have a full picture of the president's final holdings, the sources of his income and other pertinent information, we can't properly assess this situation. so i urge my colleagues on this committee to put our national security and the best interests of our country above party politics and support the resolution. and before i yield the balance of my time to mr. crowley, i want to just address the issue that was raised by my republican colleagues about financial
disclosure forms. president trump has not filed his financial disclosure forms for this year. now, members of congress are required to file those and the deadline is may 15th of this year. and in fact, with extensions and other kind of dilatory tactics, it may be two years into his first term before we ever see the president's financial disclosure forms. and that's why i've introduced a piece of legislation called the fair act that would require all executive branch and government employees who are required to file a financial disclosure form to all file it by the same deadline that members of congress and members of the senate have to file by, and i think what's good for us is what's good for the rest of government. with that, i will yield the balance of my time. >> mr. chairman, tonight at 5:05, this was released, a story. you can't make this up. i have 40 hours of material to
present to this committee, but it keeps on coming in. he wrote, trump's privately-held company works tlhrough a networ of sub sid dares and partnerships that make it tough to trace, specifically since he's refused to release his tax filings. in addition, some organizations operate through shell companies and limited liability corporations that hide the identities of individual owners. by the way, the headline on this article, which will appear probably tomorrow is "trump's business network with alleged russian mobsters." let me read you some of their names. hear, hear. hear, hear. how about felix slater? he spent a year in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a broken margarita glass in a
bar in 1991. according to a lawsuit filed by a former partner, satyr held a controlling share of the bay rock group. i know that you know that since you are all studying this issue, which developed a trump soho condominium tower in new york. how about alexander maskovich? he was a source of money for the soho project in new york, a project according to a bay rock investor pamphlet. peter, a ukrainian businessman, who owned two condominiums with his daughter at trump international -- >> your time has expired. >> put those in your reports that you hung up. >> thank you. you're recognized to strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to yield. >> thank you, mr. paulson. again, it's amazing where this
committee has gone. we have now come back to talking about mobsters and privately-held companies which will never show up on a tax return again. after 30 years of practicing, i have never seen a mobster's name. i've never seen a privately-held -- these things don't show up on tax returns. the request from tax returns, we have moved from there to now saying for us to do tax reform we need to see his tax return because he's going to be one of the people who have to approve it. >> you got it. >> when you say that, you have now have put everyone on this committee on record because if we're going to do tax reform, then every member of this committee has to recuse themselves. we'll never get tax reform done because every member of this committee might benefit from some item on tax reform. we've got to be very careful as to where we're pointing the fingers. we can't do anything under your
scenario because all of a sudden we're going to have -- it's interesting. you shake your head, but it is exactly right. >> the gentleman controls the time. >> no. >> i said you're shaking your head because you realize i might as well ask for your tax return so we can see what the benefit would be. >> i already divulged mine. >> mr. pascarel. >> that's where this committee now has gone. again that's what's amazing. we have moved now to talking about how we need to see people's tax returns to properly do tax reform. we should be able to do tax reform for the good of the american people without looking at your tax return or anyone's tax return and move forward on that. but again, i have to chuckle because if you can show me a tax -- i have already given you the offer. if you can show me where mobsters are on tax returns and
where privately-held companies are on tax returns and all the things you have just talked about, i will sign on to your amendment, but let's -- >> gentleman yield? >> no. let's sit down and talk about those issues and come up with a way where we can prove those things are on the tax return. >> good idea. >> but you need to pull this resolution today. >> i did. >> you need to pull the resolution today so we have time to do it. otherwise you're right. all this is another journey down a path we'll continue on. i yield back my time. >> mr. paulson, do you yield back? >> i yield back. >> strike the last word. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i have listened rather intently all afternoon and evening relative to this debate, and it occurs to me that i've been told that the best way to create rumor is to withhold informat n
information, that in the absence of information people will create their own. so i can imagine what the citizens of this country are thinking and trying to figure out. we've heard all the technical reasons that perhaps the resolution is not in order. we have heard all the reasons that it is in order. i had some young people in my office, and one of them asked a question. that question was, are we supposed to believe what they tell us in school about our elected officials? that the integrity, the respect, and the dignity that we're taught about each and every day, that people comply with rules and regulations that it has
taken years to formulate and to make a part of the public discourse? then how do you get the highest elected officer of the land refusing to comply with some of those simple requirements? you know, this could get cleared up fairly easily. all the president would have to do is release the information. then we would be in a position to talk about tax reform. we'd be in a position to talk about job creation. we'd be in a position to put another health bill on the floor. so we'd be in a position to talk about all of those relevant things that make sense to the american public.
unfortunately, i think this discussion is going to go on and on and on until we get some resolution. i support mr. pascarel. he's simply asking what a citizen might ask. show us the information so that we can know what it is that we're dealing with. so i would yield the balance of my time to mr. pascarel from new jersey. >> thank you very much, mr. davis. in exchange with richard painter, who was the former ethics czar under george w. bush about schedules of interest, the question was, the average person when they file a tax return does not have all of these assets, foreign entanglements, and foreign business interests. they may not realize what
information they can get from an extended tax return. can you just touch on for one more time the various schedules and what they provide in terms of information and how important that is for us to get some assurance with regards to our concerns about the president's conflicts of interest? conflicts of interest are not in the tax returns, by the way. you've got to find that stuff. we already have substantial reason to believe that he may owe his job to vladimir putin. this is what richard painter said, the ethics czar under george bush. i'm quoting him. we ought to at least know whether he has financial dealings with the russians, with the chinese, with any other foreign governments with oligarchs in those countries. the schedules i read into the record are very relevant here. most of them focused on flow through taxation. if you own an entity, a
corporation, an l.l.c., and it does not separately file a tax return and pay taxes, the losses, the payments, all of those flow through your taxes, the taxpayer. so disclose those payments, income and debt payments, to tl those entities. do you know what form that is? 5471. take a look at it. or information return of a shareholder or a passive foreign investment company or qualified electing fund, form 8621. i shall return. >> time has expired. mr. louis, you're recognized to strike the last word. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, a lot of things
have been said today. i understand the passion of debate. i understand the heat of the moment, but i want to be crystal clear for the record. this is not about drama. this is not about data. this is a very real question and it deserves a real answer. if the shoe were on the other foot, we would not be afraid to hold our president's feet to the fire. the dark cloud when we came in for voting, we saw a dark cloud, a very dark cloud, hanging over the capitol, hanging over the city of washington, d.c. there's a dark cloud hanging over this president, hanging over the white house, and hanging over this nation. we must see that the truth come out. the american people want to know where the president is getting
his money. the american people have a right to know who he is beholden to. as member of this committee, as chairman to the executive branch, as a representative of the american people, we have a right to ask these questions. we have a right to stand up, a right to speak up, to speak up. we have a responsibility to support mr. pascarel's resolution. it is a good resolution, and it is a necessary resolution. the american people are asking why not. with that, mr. chairman, i yield time. >> i thank the gentleman. i thank mr. pascarel for his good work on this. if you look at the financial disclosure on page three line 55, you'll see d.t. marks l.l.c.
if you own an l.l.c. and you pass that income through on your tax return, you've got a series of forms that he was outlining, including foreign gifts that would be disclosed, that we would get through these tax returns. and if these tax returns don't do it themselves, then getting the information that those tax returns would lead to would get information that would relate mr. pascarel to the very issue that you just raised, and i would ask unanimous consent to include the article into the record. >> without objection. >> in that regard, it is also very notable what we already know about mr. trump and his charitable operations because fortunately when mitt romney ran for office, he included his charitable foundation. when john mccain ran for office, he included his charitable foundation. but all that we know about
president trump and his charitable foundation is that he violated the self-dealing rules because of the one narrow form that we already have on it. we know the trump foundation reportedly used the charity's money to buy a six-foot tall painting of mr. trump for $20,000. $12,000 for a football helmet. so we have some information, but one would assume along with these personal tax returns we would get the charitable foundation returns, and we have a big stake in the work of this committee in that regard. and i would yield back so you can yield to mr. pascarel. >> mr. chairman, my friend talked about this before, but let me put the icing on the cake. the average person does not have the ability usually to enact tax reform into law. he's the sole person in the executive branch of government who can do this.
he should. he should release his tax returns. let me get back to this discussion that we were having in hearing. annual return to report transactions with foreign trusts and receipt, form 3520. take a look at the disclosure. see if you have that. statement of specified foreign financial assets. 8938. return of the u.s. purses with respect to certain foreign partnerships, 8865. a lot of forms. those are only a few of the many return forms that would divulge this information. what will we be harmed by asking to put everything on the table and let the experts look at it and then we determine whether it should go public? what's wrong with that? that's our job. that's our responsibility. we cannot undermine our own responsibilities. we have a duty to do what has to be done. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you. all time has expired. does anyone else wish to strike the last word? are there any amendments? if there are no amendments, i will now recognize mr. johnson for the purpose of offering a motion. >> mr. chairman, i move that the committee unfavorably report house resolution 186 to the house of representatives. >> the question is on reporting house resolution 186 unfavorably to the house. all those in favor reporting the resolution favorably signify by sayi ining aye. those opposed no. the motion is announced. clerk, please call the roll. >> we're a yes, right?
>> mr. johnson? >> aye. >> mr. nunes? >> aye. >> mr. t. berry? >> aye. >> mr. roscum? >> aye. >> mr. buchanan? >> aye. >> mr. smith? >> aye. >> ms. jenkins? >> aye. >> mr. paulson, aye. >> ms. black? >> aye. >> mr. reed? >> aye. >> mr. kelly? >> aye. >> mr. meehan? >> aye. >> mrs. gnome? >> aye. >> mr. holding? >> aye. >> mr. smith of missouri? >> aye. >> mr. rice?
>> aye. >> mr. carbello? >> aye. >> mr. bishop? >> aye. >> mr. neil? >> no. >> mr. levin? >> no. >> mr. lewis? >> no. >> mr. doggit? >> no. >> mr. thompson? >> no. >> mr. larson? mr. larson? >> no. >> mr. kind? >> no. >> mr. pascarel? >> no. >> mr. crowley? >> no. >> mr. davis? >> no. >> ms. sanchez? >> no. >> mr. higgins?
>> no. >> ms. chu? >> no. >> chairman brady? >> aye. >> chairman brady aye. >> clerk will report the vote. >> 24 yeas, 16 nays. >> the motion is agreed to house resolution 186 to order unfavorly to report to the house of representatives without objection. i ask that the staff be authorized to make technical changes that the representatives have two additional days to file dissenting or minority views. there being no further business before the committee, the committee stands adjourned.
c-span's "washington journal" live every day. coming up wednesday morning, new jersey democratic congressman bill pascrell discusses a resolution he initiated directing the treasury secretary to provide the house with president trump's tax returns. then texas republican congressman louie gohmert talks about the future of the caucus. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion. now a discussion on immigration policy with conservative pundits at the national review institute's biennial summit in washington, d.c. >> good morning, everyone. how is everyone doing?