Author: Peter Boykin
Presidents aren’t required by law to release their tax returns. Nevertheless, between 1974 and 2012, every president but Gerald Ford has made a voluntary release of the tax returns they filed while in office. Ford released no complete returns, but released 10 years of summary data including gross income, taxable income, major deductions, and taxes paid.
This tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure ended in 2017, when President Trump declined to release any personal tax information. Trump has offered various reasons for keeping his returns private, but he has frequently insisted that he won’t make a release while his returns are being audited by the IRS.
2. Are all presidents’ tax returns audited by the IRS?
Since 1977 the Internal Revenue Manual has required that every tax return filed by a sitting president or vice president be subject to an audit. According to IRS officials at the time, the new policy was established “in the interest of sound administration” and in light of “everything that has happened in the past.”
While Trump may be unwilling to release presidential tax returns currently under audit, that’s a prudential decision, not a legal one. There’s no legal bar to releasing returns that are under examination. In fact, every president from Jimmy Carter through Barack Obama released tax returns that were “under audit,” since those returns — generally released publicly within hours of being filed with the IRS — were slated for automatic audit under the IRM.
3. Do presidents release tax returns covering every year they are in office?
Not exactly. Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. That means the first return filed and released by a new president has covered the year before his inauguration. Similarly, returns covering the last year of a president’s final term haven’t typically been released since they were filed after that president had left office.
Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. President Bill Clinton is the exception to that rule, since his joint returns filed after his presidency were then released by Hillary Clinton when she made her 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.
4. Why did presidents begin to make voluntary disclosures of tax returns in 1974?
The tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure began with a scandal. In 1973 journalists discovered information suggesting that President Richard Nixon had taken large, hard-to-defend deductions on his individual tax returns. After months of media speculation (based chiefly on documents that came to light in an unrelated court case), someone at the IRS leaked information from the president’s returns confirming that he had paid just $792.81 in federal income taxes for 1970 and $878.03 for 1971 — despite having an income of more than $200,000 each year.
To help quell the ensuing uproar — which occasioned Nixon’s oft-quoted insistence that “I am not a crook” — the president decided to make a public release of his tax returns for 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. That tax disclosure was the first made by a sitting U.S. president. (While running for president in 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower disclosed a few key elements of his tax history, but no complete returns.)
Ford, Nixon’s vice president, didn’t release complete tax returns after taking office in the wake of Nixon’s resignation. Ford released a nine-year summary of his tax data when running for president in 1975 and 1976. But starting with Carter, every president through Obama has made an annual disclosure of the tax return he filed during each year in which he held office.
5. Which presidential returns are available in the presidential tax returns archive? Do you have them all?
The archive includes returns disclosed by every president from Nixon through Obama, with the exception of Ford. (Since Ford released only summary tax data, the archive includes a summary.)
The archive doesn’t include any complete presidential tax returns filed by Trump, because he has opted not to release them. However, it includes Trump’s Form 1040 for 2005, which was leaked to the DCReport.org website and later published widely. In a statement, the White House confirmed the accuracy of key figures from this 2005 partial return.
The archive includes returns filed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Those returns weren’t released during either president’s lifetime, but were later made available by their respective presidential libraries.
6. Which vice presidential and candidate tax returns are available in the archive
The archive includes returns filed by Vice Presidents Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. For Cheney, all but one of the returns (filed jointly with his wife) are incomplete, consisting of only a Form 1040. In 2001 the Cheneys released only a press statement summarizing their 2000 return. Returns filed by Pence were released while he was running in the 2016 election. Because Pence has released no returns since taking office, the last return available in the archive is for 2015. Like Trump, Cheney has cited ongoing audits as an explanation for his refusal to release later returns. Returns filed by Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, and some by Al Gore aren’t in the archive. The returns, however, were publicly released by those officials while they held office. They are unavailable now, and we hope to add them to the archive eventually.
For primary candidates and major party nominees, we have returns (or return portions) covering the 2012, 2016, and 2020 election cycles.
7. How many tax returns do candidates typically release?
The number of returns released by presidential candidates varies widely, from a low of zero (Donald Trump) to a high of 33 (Jeb Bush). There is no “typical” or “standard” number of released returns, since disclosures have varied dramatically even within an election cycle.
Even the number of returns released by major party nominees has differed widely.
|0 (summary data)
George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush
George W. Bush
George W. Bush
|Sources: Contemporaneous media coverage; Julie Jennings, “Memorandum: Federal Tax Returns Disclosed by Selected Nominees for President and Vice President Since 1916,” Congressional Research Service (Jan. 30, 2019); Ryan Kelly, “Chart: Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns,” Roll Call (Oct. 21, 2016).|
Disclosures have also varied considerably in their completeness. While all major party presidential nominees through the 2012 election released complete (or nearly complete) returns, several candidates in 2016 chose to release only their Form 1040, omitting other required elements of their tax returns, including various schedules and forms.
8. What happened to the tradition of voluntary disclosure?
The voluntary tradition of tax return disclosure — by candidates, nominees, vice presidents, and presidents — was strong until 2016. President Trump’s decision to keep his tax returns private was the most serious challenge to this tradition, but it wasn’t the only one. The decision in 2016 by several candidates in both parties to release incomplete returns was a break with the usual practice of full disclosure. Moreover, while numerous candidates opted for a partial release in 2016, Cheney had already set a precedent for limiting annual disclosures to just a Form 1040.
9. Can Congress compel disclosure?
Whether Congress can compel disclosure of presidential (and vice presidential) tax returns remains to be seen. A law enacted in 1924 empowers key leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees to request tax return information from Treasury, including individual returns filed by just about anyone. Such a request doesn’t necessarily involve public disclosure of the requested information, and indeed, the law requires lawmakers to treat that material confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.
The Ways and Means Committee is seeking tax returns filed by Trump, as well as returns from several of his businesses and related audit and administrative materials developed by the IRS. To date, Treasury has declined to provide that information, and the standoff seems likely to find its way to a courtroom sometime soon.
The law requires lawmakers to treat tax return information confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.
In a related development, the House passed legislation in March that would require presidents, vice presidents, and major party nominees for both offices to publicly disclose 10 years of tax returns. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate.
10. Where else can people find presidential tax returns?
Tax Analysts maintains the largest database of publicly available tax returns released by American national politicians.
In theory, tax returns released by specific presidents and vice presidents should be available in the various presidential libraries scattered around the country. In practice, it can be difficult to retrieve those returns, because their sensitive nature often causes them to be flagged for special security screening. Getting that screening done can take considerable time, given staffing shortages at presidential libraries.
The story for candidate and nominee returns is even worse. Because those returns have typically been released by campaigns, not government agencies, official archiving practices don’t apply. Some released returns can still be found online through various news organizations, which occasionally host returns on their own websites.
For the most part, however, candidate returns tend to disappear from public view once the voting is done; technically public, they become effectively private.
“I believe that we in the United States Congress should start impeachment proceedings. Immediately,” he said, adding: “The politics of this be dammed. When we look at history at what happened when the president started acting like an authoritarian. The question is what will we have done? And I believe the Congress should do its job.” “I just want to make sure whatever we do doesn’t end up with an acquittal by [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell in the Senate and President Trump is saying he was acquitted by the Congress. I belief we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single term president. And we can’t do anything that plays into his hands.” But Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet was more cautious.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “It’s obvious the president committed the crimes worthy of impeachment.” Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has said her Justice Department, if elected president, would go forward with obstruction of justices charges against Trump, was the first to elaborate. “We all watched the testimony [former special counsel Robert Muelle], I read the report,” she said. “There are 10 clear incidents of obstruction of justice by this president and he needs to be held accountable. I have seen people go to prison for far less.” Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey agreed. Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development also was in favor of punishment. “I was first of candidate to call on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings,” he said, adding: “I believe that the evidence is plain and clear. And if it goes that far, you’re likely to see a prosecution of Donald Trump.” The progressive Democrats on the stage Wednesday night for the second round of debates among presidential candidates were all in favor of tossing President Donald Trump in jail.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he’s staying out the senate race in Kansas to replace retiring fellow-Republican, Pat Roberts, but his announcement hasn’t stopped the speculation, reports The Wall Street Journal. He’s had phone calls with at least three Kansas Republicans who are openly considering running for the Senate seat, took a rare summer vacation in Kansas and missed former Sen. Bob Dole’s 96th birthday party in Washington. “The widely held assumption is that he’s preparing a run, because he wants the reputation of a tough man without having to take on all the political risks that position requires,” one senior administration official told the Wichita Eagle in mid-July. “Pompeo has never stopped being a congressman – he’s a congressman serving as a secretary of state.” Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman, has repeatedly downplayed his interest in the seat but has also made a point of maintaining his ties to Kansas. Speculation ramped up after former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach launched his own bid in July as Pompeo is widely seen as Republicans’ best shot at hanging on to the seat. “The fear is getting fired like the last guy and having his entire political career ended by tweet,” the official added.
But when CNN moderator turned to Gabbard as “the person on stage who served” in Iraq, Gabbard declared: “We were all lied to.” “This is the betrayal . . . betrayal to the American people,” she said. “To me, to my fellow service members, we were lied to, told [Saddam] Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and working with al-Qaida and posed a threat to the American people.” “The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us,” she charged. “Over years now, not only have we not gone after al-Qaida, who is stronger today than 9/11, our president is supporting al-Qaida.” “I did make a bad judgment trusting the President [George W. Bush] saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the UN to agree,” he said. Vice President Joe Biden was challenged about his vote to go to war in Iraq while he served in the Senate. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said Wednesday night the nation and military were “lied to” about the need to go to war with Iraq.
In a visceral takedown, Gabbard charged Harris “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.” “When you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not, and worse yet, in the case of those who are on death row, you blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so. “There’s no excuse for that and the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology.” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, tore into Sen. Kamala Harris,D-Calif., for her tenure as California’s attorney general, saying Wednesday night she owed an “apology” to “people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor.” After Harris’ defense of her tenure as “significantly reforming the criminal justice system” in her state, making it a “national model,” Gabbard continued the tongue lashing. “She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way,” she said.
A list of President Trump’s accomplishments for the LGBT community:
•Trump has just appointed Judd Deere, an openly gay man as Deputy Press Secretary.
•President Trump is THE FIRST President in US HISTORY to enter office unopposed to gay marriage (Obama opposed gay marriage during his first 4 years in office)
•Trump is the FIRST REPUBLICAN President in US history to acknowledge Pride Month.
•Trump has appointed THE SECOND openly gay federal prosecutor Patrick J. Bumatay to the Ninth Circuit Courts
•Trump as appointed Richard Grenell, an openly gay Republican as the US ambassador to Germany
•Trump has stated in an interview with Advocate Magazine in the year 2000; “I don’t care whether or not a person is gay. I judge people based on their capability, honesty, and merit.”
•The Trump administration has launched a global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality
•Trump signed a bill reauthorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) until 2023
•Trump Administration secured a historic donation of BILLIONS of dollars in HIV prevention drugs
•Trump recently nominated former Log Cabin Republicans president R. Clarke Cooper for a senior position at the State Department on political and military affairs.
•Trump renominated lesbian activist Chai R. Feldblum to the EEOC
•Trump was asked about Dem candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and said it was “FANTASTIC” to see a married gay man running for president and that he “had no problem with it.”
•Trump has also tweeted multiple positive things in regards to the gay community:
-“Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.” 6/14/16
As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2019
-”As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!”
The Franklin Square and Munson Fire District has passed a resolution asking for a new investigation into the events of 9/11.
Commissioners for the volunteer fire department have called for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks due to the “overwhelming evidence” that “pre-planted explosives . . . caused the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings.”
The resolution, drafted and introduced by Commissioner Christopher Gioia, was unanimously approved by the five commissioners.
Thefreethoughtproject.comreports: “We’re a tight-knit community and we never forget our fallen brothers and sisters. You better believe that when the entire fire service of New York State is on board, we will be an unstoppable force,” said Commissioner Christopher Gioia, adding, “We were the first fire district to pass this resolution. We won’t be the last.”
According to the report:
The impact of 9/11 on the community extends well beyond the victims and their grieving families. On September 12, 2001, the Franklin Square Fire Department was called in to assist with the massive rescue and recovery effort that was just getting underway. Countless members of the department, including Gioia and Commissioner Philip Malloy (then rank-and-file firefighters), spent weeks on the pile searching in vain for civilians and fellow responders who might still be alive. Today, Malloy is one of thousands suffering chronic health effects.
The department also lost one of its own in Thomas J. Hetzel, affectionately referred to as “Tommy” by the commissioners. Hetzel was a full-time member of the New York Fire Department in addition to serving as a volunteer firefighter in Franklin Square. A touching memorial to Hetzel was on display during the meeting, and Hetzel’s widow, parents, and sister were all in attendance.
“The Hetzel and Evans families were very appreciative of the proceedings,” Gioia commented the day after the meeting. “They know it’s an uphill struggle. But at least they have hope, which is something they haven’t had in a long time.”
The importance of this resolution — especially coming from a legislative body of fire fighters — cannot be understated. The impact of first responders calling for a new investigation over the use of explosives is massive. The naysayers who call those who question the official narrative “kooks” will have a hard time going after fire commissioners.
This move is yet another blow to the highly questionable and hole-filled official narrative. As TFTP reported earlier this year, in another major move from the great folks over at the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and 9/11 victim family members Robert McIlvaine and Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli, a joint federal lawsuit has been filed to assess any evidence the FBI may have known about that contributed to the destruction of the towers on 9/11 which they may have kept from Congress.
The complaint cites the failure of the FBI and its 9/11 Review Commission to assess key 9/11-related evidence that the FBI can be shown to have had, or been aware of, regarding:
- the use of pre-placed explosives to destroy World Trade Center Buildings, 1, 2, and 7;
- the arrest and investigation of the “High Fivers” observed photographing and celebrating the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11;
- terrorist financing related the reported Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers;
- recovered plane parts, including serial numbers from all three crash locations;
- video from cameras mounted inside and outside the Pentagon; and
- cell phone communications from passengers aboard airplanes.
According to the press release on Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, this is evidence relevant to the 9/11 Review Commission’s and the FBI’s compliance with the mandate from Congress, which should have been assessed by the FBI and the 9/11 Review Commission and reported to Congress. The complaint also cites the destruction by the FBI of evidence related to the “High Fivers.” Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth has joined in bringing the counts that involve the evidence of the World Trade Center’s explosive demolition and evidence related to the “High Fivers,” while the other plaintiffs are party to all counts.
Also, as TFTP previously reported, a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth took place last December when a United States Attorney agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers. Then, in March, the group behind the submission, the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, announced the filing of a “petition supplement” naming persons who may have information related to the use of said explosives.
According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the 33-page document contains 15 different categories of persons who may have information material to the investigation, including contractors and security companies that had access to the WTC Towers before 9/11, persons and entities who benefited financially from the WTC demolitions, and persons arrested after being observed celebrating the WTC attacks.
A names-redacted version of the petition supplement, which was filed with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on February 14, 2019, has been made available to the public. The un-redacted version filed with the U.S. Attorney today will remain undisclosed in the interest of maintaining the secrecy, security, and integrity of the grand jury proceeding.
As TFTP reported in December, for the first time since 9/11 the federal government is taking steps to hear evidence that explosives may have been used to destroy the world trade centers.
The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully submitted a petition to the federal government demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7).
After waiting months for the reply, the U.S. Attorney responded in a letter, noting that they will comply with the law.
“We have received and reviewed The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Inc.’s submissions of April 10 and July 30, 2018. We will comply with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3332 as they relate to your submissions,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman stated.
According to the petition, dozens of exhibits were presented as evidence that explosives were used to destroy all three world trade centers.
The Lawyers’ Committee’s April 10th 52-page original Petition was accompanied by 57 exhibits and presented extensive evidence that explosives were used to destroy three WTC Towers on 9/11.That evidence included independent scientific laboratory analysis of WTC dust samples showing the presence of high-tech explosives and/or incendiaries; numerous first-hand reports by First Responders of seeing and hearing explosions at the World Trade Center on 9/11; expert analysis of seismic evidence that explosions occurred at the WTC towers on 9/11 both prior to the airplane impacts and prior to the building collapses; and expert analysis and testimony by architects, engineers, and scientists concluding that the rapid onset symmetrical near-free-fall acceleration collapse of these three WTC high rise buildings on 9/11 exhibited the key characteristics of controlled demolition. The July 30th Amended Petition included the same evidence but also addressed several additional federal crimes beyond the federal bombing crime addressed in the original Petition.
The Lawyers’ Committee concluded in the petitions that explosive and incendiary devices that had been preplaced at the WTC were detonated causing the complete collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7 on 9/11, and the resulting tragic loss of life, and that “the evidence permits no other conclusion — as a matter of science, as a matter of logic, and as a matter of law.”
“This Petition Supplement is intended to assist the Special Grand Jury by providing a roadmap for a meaningful investigation into the yet-to-be-prosecuted 9/11 WTC crimesthat the Lawyers’ Committee has reported and documented in our Petitions,” Attorney David Meiswinkle, President of the Lawyers’ Committee’s Board of Directors, said.
Finally, after nearly two decades of ridicule, dismissal, and outright intolerance of information contrary to the “official story” of what happened on 9/11, the public may finally learn the truth of what happened and who was behind it.
CNN has been forced to admit the unthinkable about former Special Counsel Robert Mueller after his congressional testimony last week was nothing short of a total a disaster.
The left-leaning media outlet published a piece on Monday detailing how Mueller’s hearing being a dud could severely harm several of the top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
In fact, Mueller’s testimony was such a disaster for Democrats that CNN has admitted that impeachment is all over.
“Expectations were high among Democrats that former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday would be the spark they needed to persuade a skeptical American public that President Donald Trump had obstructed justice — and, perhaps, that impeachment was the right recourse for the President’s actions surrounding the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It didn’t turn out that way,” reports CNN.
CNN went even further in explaining how much of a disappointment this is for Democrats.
“Mueller struggled mightily on the appearances front. He seemingly struggled to hear the questions asked of him. He struggled to find citations within his own report being using by members of Congress. He was halting in his responses and occasionally looked befuddled,” CNN added.
The CNN piece added: “While he seemed to rise to the task somewhat as the day went on, the perception of him as nothing short of the perfect prosecutor took a hit.”
It speaks volumes that Mueller’s testimony was so bad for Democrats that even CNN is admitting that impeachment is over.
Mueller’s testimony was nothing short of a total disaster for Democrats.
The ex-special counsel also made a few bombshell admissions that further proved President Donald Trump did not collude or obstruct justice.
During one exchange, Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins caught Mueller contradicting his own report.
Collins exposed Mueller for saying one thing in public, but another in his own Russia report.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh also called out Mueller for telling a lie about Attorney General William Barr.
Mueller told Barr three times that the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) precedent, which states that a sitting president cannot be indicted, had no impact on his decision to indict Trump.
But when he testified on Wednesday, Mueller tried his best not to admit that.
It seemed as if Mueller was afraid to admit that he never found evidence to indict Trump, but Limbaugh called him out.
And now CNN is admitting that impeachment is over and 2020 Democrats will have a hard time trying to explain the Russia hoax to voters.
Bustos announced that Jacqueline Newman will replace Allison Jaslow, a combat veteran, who resigned earlier in the day. Jaslow and Bustos were close. Roll Call reported that Jaslow had worked on Bustos’ campaign and was once chief-of-staff in her House office.
Republicans seized on the turmoil. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced a new interim executive director and other top staff changes on Monday after reported criticism that the staff did not reflect the diversity of the Democratic Party.The Washington Examiner reported that Michael McAdams, spokesman for the GOP campaign arm, “Mutiny underway at Cheri Bustos’ DCCC. What a disaster for House Democrats.”GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe DCCC has been effective in fundraising this past year and announced in May that it raised .85 million in May—its largest haul ever for the month, according to reports.Bustos said in the statement that she is proud of her team but promised to do better.Bustos said in the statement that she is proud of her team but promised to do better.GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stepped off a plane and into a crowd of protesters Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport who chanted “free the children” as he waited for his luggage. The chant was a reference to detention centers at the southern border. The Texas conservative has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump’s border security policies. Cruz can be seen in video posted to Twitter smiling, shaking a few hands and even taking pictures with some fellow travelers as the group chanted.