Trump

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New photos taken of a North Korean shipyard suggest the country could be building a submarine that could potentially be capable of launching a nuclear missile.

officer accused in Garner case, report says

#MAGAFirstNews 8.28.19

https://youtu.be/vW5RYLtWAJk

#StraightPride in Boston in Danger of being Blocked by Mayor in Tricky way:
The Boston Police and their FBI liaison told them yesterday that if Antifa or any militant LGBT groups block out parade they will let them. Then they will let the clock run out on our permit so their speakers can’t speak on the stage they paid thousands for. If anyone did this at the LGBT parade they would immediately be thrown in jail. It is outrageous. Everyone should call Boston City Hall today at 617-635-4500 to complain. Mayor Walsh is a Fascist.

Puerto Rico prepares for Dorian’s wrath
Puerto Rico is bracing for a possible direct hit from Tropical Storm Dorian on Wednesday as forecasters say it has shifted in its path and could strengthen into a hurricane. The storm is expected to pass over or near western and central Puerto Rico, with landslides, widespread flooding and power outages possible. President Trump declared an emergency Tuesday night and ordered federal assistance for local authorities.

New photos taken of a North Korean shipyard suggest the country could be building a submarine that could potentially be capable of launching a nuclear missile, a report early Wednesday said. The photos show vessels and cranes that could be used to haul a missile out to sea for launch, according to experts at a Washington-based think tank, NBC News reported. The satellite photos seem to confirm North Korean state media reports from July about a newly built submarine. “There is no conclusive evidence at the moment that this is a near-term certainty,” an expert said of a possible missile test. Once a submarine is built, it would take at least a year before it’s ready, according to an expert.

DC consultant’s alleged affair with ‘Squad’s’ Omar detailed in divorce papers
The wife of a prominent Washington political consultant has filed for divorce, claiming her husband made a “devastating and shocking” revelation that he was having an affair with freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Beth Mynett, 55, submitted divorce papers in Washington, D.C., Superior Court on Tuesday, saying her husband, Tim Mynett, 38, informed her earlier this year that he was having an affair with Omar.

The news of the divorce filing, first seen in the New York Post, comes just over a month after it was reported that Omar had separated from Ahmed Hirsi, her husband and father of her three children, and moved into a luxury penthouse in Minneapolis.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is settlement talks over opioid cases
State attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments said Tuesday they are in active settlement talks with Purdue Pharma, the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin that is facing billions of dollars in potential liability for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis. Purdue has been cast by attorneys and addiction experts as a main villain in the crisis for producing a blockbuster drug while understating its addiction risk. Purdue Pharma and its owners are reportedly looking to settle more than 2,000 opioid cases in a deal between $10 billion and $12 billion.

NYPD arrests slump in wake of the firing of officer accused in Garner case, report says
The firing of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was involved in the fatal arrest of Eric Garner in 2014, appears to have already had an effect on the Big Apple, with the number of arrests dropping sharply compared to 2018 and cops warning of plummeting morale among New York City’s finest. Just between Aug. 17, when Pantaleo was fired, and Aug. 25, arrests dropped by 27 percent compared to the same period in 2018, the New York Post reported. NYPD cops made 3,508 arrests compared to 4,827 a year earlier, according to the Post.

Taking a Lesson from the left’s playbook, Conservatives WILL and ARE Exposing Leftist Journalists Hypocritical Activists Recently the New York Times reported on a new effort being undertaken by conservative activists against leftist members of the “mainstream” media. NEW FRONT IN THE WAR ON THE PRESS: TRUMP allies say they have archived embarrassing posts by hundreds of employees of @nytimes, @washingtonpost, @CNN & others. The TRUMP allies plan to disseminate the posts in

response to the coverage they consider unfair.

Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House.

https://youtu.be/xJUtRzAsmkc

A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.

According to the New York Times this is is the latest step in a long-running effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to undercut the influence of “legitimate” news reporting.
This is the same news media that constantly publishes “Fake News” to clickbait Leftists into following and believing lies fed to them all because these “news” organizations used to be legit… heavy on the USED TO BE!

These so called members of the press have indignantly paraded around for years as “objective” seekers of truth with no political agenda. That’s a lie.

All it takes is just a quick look at their Twitter and other social media feeds to prove many of them are firmly planted on the left and regularly use their media platforms to advocate for leftist causes.
They’ve actively worked to destroy conservative opponents. They’ve painted conservatives as racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic cancers that must be eliminated. Further, these people have been going after conservatives and their families for years: tea party members, the Covington Catholic schoolboys, Brett Kavanaugh, Trump supporters, etc.

We go on with the article:
Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations.
The group has already released information about journalists at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times — three outlets that have aggressively investigated Mr. Trump — in response to reporting or commentary that the White House’s allies consider unfair to Mr. Trump and his team or harmful to his re-election prospects.

Operatives have closely examined more than a decade’s worth of public posts and statements by journalists, the people familiar with the operation said. Only a fraction of what the network claims to have uncovered has been made public, the people said, with more to be disclosed as the 2020 election heats up. The research is said to extend to members of journalists’ families who are active in politics, as well as liberal activists and other political opponents of the president.

It is not possible to independently assess the claims about the quantity or potential significance of the material the pro-Trump network has assembled. Some involved in the operation have histories of bluster and exaggeration. And those willing to describe its techniques and goals may be trying to intimidate journalists or their employers.
But the material publicized so far, while in some cases stripped of context or presented in misleading ways, has proved authentic, and much of it has been professionally harmful to its targets.

The information unearthed by the operation has been commented on and spread by officials inside the Trump administration and re-election campaign, as well as conservative activists and right-wing news outlets such as Breitbart News. In the case of the Times editor, the news was first published by Breitbart, immediately amplified on Twitter by Donald Trump Jr. and, among others, Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, and quickly became the subject of a Breitbart interview with Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary and communications director.

The White House press office said that neither the president nor anyone in the White House was involved in or aware of the operation, and that neither the White House nor the Republican National Committee was involved in funding it.

The Trump campaign said it was unaware of, and not involved in, the effort, but suggested that it served a worthy purpose. “We know nothing about this, but it’s clear that the media has a lot of work to do to clean up its own house,” said Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director.

The campaign is consistent with Mr. Trump’s long-running effort to delegitimize critical reporting and brand the news media as an “enemy of the people.” The president has relentlessly sought to diminish the credibility of news organizations and cast them as politically motivated opponents.
Journalism, he said in a tweet last week, is “nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party.”

The operation has compiled social media posts from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and stored images of the posts that can be publicized even if the user deletes them said the people familiar with the effort. One claimed that the operation had unearthed potentially “fireable” information on “several hundred” people.

Mr. Nunberg and others who are familiar with the campaign described it as meant to expose what they see as the hypocrisy of mainstream news outlets that have reported on the president’s inflammatory language regarding race.

“Two can play at this game,” he said. “The media has long targeted Republicans with deep dives into their social media, looking to caricature all conservatives and Trump voters as racists.”
A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The Times, said in a statement that such tactics were taking the president’s campaign against a free press to a new level.

“They are seeking to harass and embarrass anyone affiliated with the leading news organizations that are asking tough questions and bringing uncomfortable truths to light,” Mr. Sulzberger said. “The goal of this campaign is clearly to intimidate journalists from doing their job, which includes serving as a check on power and exposing wrongdoing when it occurs. The Times will not be intimidated or silenced.”

In a statement, a CNN spokesman said that when government officials, “and those working on their behalf, threaten and retaliate against reporters as a means of suppression, it’s a clear abandonment of democracy for something very dangerous.”

The operation is targeting the news media by using one of the most effective weapons of political combat — deep and laborious research into the public records of opponents to find contradictions, controversial opinions or toxic affiliations. The liberal group Media Matters for America helped pioneer close scrutiny of public statements by conservative media personalities. This is the pro-republican group’s template: Media Matters and the way it is always never-ending opposition research that people do all the time.

As Breitbart used to say “A culture war is a war,” he said. “There are casualties in war. And that’s what you’re seeing.” at you’re seeing.”

#MagaFirstNews 8.27.19

New optimism in US-China trade war felt on Wall Street, Asian markets

Struggling 2020 Democrats fume at DNC over debate criteria crackdown

Epstein accusers expected to speak at hearing

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572M in opioid case, setting up more trials and possible legal settlements

Miley Cyrus stuns at MTV VMAs with emotional first performance since Hemsworth split

#MagaFirstNews 8.27.19

https://youtu.be/qzA0q8OlXjw

New optimism in US-China trade See More war felt on Wall Street, Asian markets

Asian shares traded mostly higher on Tuesday, following a rally on Wall Street. Traders are cautiously optimistic again about the potential for progress in the costly trade war between the U.S. and China. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei rose 1.2 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose at first but reversed course and was down nearly 0.2 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 1.1 percent. U.S. equity futures were searching for direction Tuesday morning.
Monday’s rally on Wall Street got its start early after President Trump said his negotiators had received encouraging calls from China on Sunday, though China’s foreign ministry denied knowledge of any such calls. At the end of the G-7 summit, the president stood firm and defended his handling of the trade war with China and said his approach was seeing results.

Struggling 2020 Democrats fume at DNC over debate criteria crackdown

With the deadline to qualify for next month’s third round of Democratic presidential debates closing in, the Democratic National Committee is facing an angry chorus of criticism from the candidates not likely to make the cut. At issue is the DNC’s criteria for the contenders to take part in the prime-time showdown, including contributions from 130,000 individual donors and reaching at least 2 percent in four qualifying polls. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado were among the candidates complaining about the DNC’s process.

While the criticism is not new, this time around the national party committee is specifically being attacked over the dearth of qualifying polls. Critics say this is unfairly preventing candidates close to qualifying from actually making the stage. Bullock, who also needs a miracle to qualify by the end-of-Wednesday deadline, argued that “these DNC debate rules have turned this primary into the ‘The Hunger Games’ — each step of this seems to be all about getting donors.”

Epstein accusers expected to speak at hearing

Up to 30 of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims could take a judge up on his invitation to speak at a hearing Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who presided over the sex trafficking case prosecutors brought against Epstein, scheduled the hearing after prosecutors asked that he toss charges against Epstein because of his death. Epstein, a previously convicted sex offender, died Aug. 10, his death ruled a suicide as he apparently killed himself rather than face sex trafficking charges. Berman said he would give prosecutors, Epstein’s lawyers and any alleged victims a chance to speak.

Since the hearing was scheduled, it was revealed that Epstein signed a will just two days before his suicide putting over $577 million in assets into a trust fund. The will, filed in the Virgin Islands where Epstein maintained a residence, was expected to make it more difficult for dozens of accusers to collect damages. Tuesday’s hearing comes amid a report that video footage from at least one camera in the hallway outside Epstein’s jail cell is too flawed to be of any value for investigators.

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572M in opioid case, setting up more trials and possible legal settlements

An Oklahoma judge found Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies liable for stoking the opioid crisis in the state and said the company must pay $572 million, far less the $17 billion that the state was seeking. Judge Thad Balkman, of Cleveland County District Court in Norman, Oklahoma, is the first judge to rule in the opioid cases brought to trial by thousands of state and local governments against opioid manufacturers and distributors. His precedent-setting ruling was being closely watched as 2,000 other pending suits await to be heard before a federal judge in Ohio in October. J&J said it plans to appeal Balkman’s ruling and that the decision was “flawed.”

Miley Cyrus stuns at MTV VMAs with emotional first performance since Hemsworth split

Miley Cyrus made a huge statement during an emotional performance at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. The pop star took the stage Monday evening at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. to perform her latest single “Slide Away,” which many believe to be about her 10-year relationship with estranged husband, actor Liam Hemsworth.
Cyrus wasn’t the only star making a statement at the VMAs. Taylor Swift called out the White House after she won the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards’ top prize — video of the year — for her LGBTQ pride anthem, “You Need To Calm Down.”

A complete list of winners from the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.

Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Missy Elliott

Fashion Trailblazer Award: Marc Jacobs

Video of the Year: Taylor Swift, “You Need to Calm Down”

Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande

Song of the Year: Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road (Remix)”

Best New Artist, presented by Taco Bell: Billie Eilish

Best Collaboration: Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, “Señorita”

Push Artist of the Year: Billie Eilish

Best Pop: Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”

Best Hip-Hop: Cardi B, “Money”

Best R&B: Normani ft. 6lack, “Waves”

Best K-Pop: BTS ft. Halsey, “Boy With Luv”

Best Latin: ROSALIA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho, “Con Altura”

Best Dance: The Chainsmokers ft. Bebe Rexha, “Call You Mine”

Best Rock: Panic! At The Disco, “High Hopes”

Video for Good: Taylor Swift, “You Need to Calm Down”

Best Editing: Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”

Best Art Direction: Ariana Grande, “7 Rings”

Song of Summer, presented by Samsung: Ariana Grande & Social House, “boyfriend”

Best Power Anthem: Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign, “Hot Girl Summer”

Best Group: BTS

Array

#MagaFirstNews 8-26-19

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

China signaled on Monday it was now seeking a “calm” end to its ongoing trade war with the U.S., as Asian markets crumbled and China’s currency plummeted to an 11-year low following the latest tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods announced last Friday by the Trump administration.

News of the possible opening in negotiations came shortly after President Trump threatened to declare a national emergency that would result in American businesses freezing their relationships with China.

Trump’s tariff barrage on Friday was a response to China imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods. At the Group of Seven summit in France on Sunday, White House officials rejected suggestions the president was wavering and insisted that his only regret was not implementing even more tariffs on China.

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

President Trump on Monday said the U.S. is not seeking regime change in Iran and told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, that he hopes to see a strong Iran. Trump’s comments came after a day of tense meetings with his European counterparts about how best to approach Iran and the recent tensions in the region. On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit at the summit at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump insisted that he knew about Zarif’s appearance but did not meet with him.

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong police have confirmed an officer fired a warning shot as protesters surrounded them and said they arrested 36 people during the latest round of pro-democracy demonstrations. A police news release Monday said that one police officer fell to the ground as protesters threw hard objects at a small group of officers the previous night. The officers could be seen holding up their shields as protesters surged forward swinging sticks and rods. The incident happened after an earlier clash with hundreds of protesters who occupied a main street following a peaceful protest march. Police used tear gas to clear the street, but some protesters remained in the neighborhood. Hardliners confronted police anew after largely holding back the previous weekend. The police deployed two water cannon trucks Sunday for the first time during the 11 weeks of protests. – The Associated Press

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Bernie Sanders renewed his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a rally in the top Republican’s home state of Kentucky on Sunday afternoon, demanding that McConnell stop his “cowardice” and “have the guts” to immediately take up legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, strengthening election security and raising the federal minimum wage. The blistering address in Louisville came as national Democrats, hoping to retake not only the White House but also the Senate in 2020, increasingly have set their sights on the 77-year-old McConnell.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and Sanders’ national campaign co-chair, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he believed former Vice President Joe Biden “regretted” making a comment over the weekend about what would have happened had former President Barack Obama been assassinated while on the campaign trail in 2008. The comment stirred up controversy, but a Biden aide said the candidate has used the analogy before when speaking to younger generations who were not alive during the turbulent 1960s. Biden asserted the assassinations of King and Kennedy raised his political awareness and propelled him to run for office.

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

The Wild West came to Midtown on Sunday when at least three armed bandits — one of whom wore what witnesses described as a cowboy hat — bound workers in a massive jewelry-store heist, according to police. The crooks coolly posed as customers at Avianne and Co. in the heart of the Diamond District, browsing the bling before pulling handguns on the four workers in the shop at the time of the high-noon hold-up, cops said. After restraining the workers with zip ties, the robbers raided the safe and display cases, dumping nearly all of the sparklers into at least one duffle bag before high-tailing it out onto surveillance-camera-lined West 47th Street, according to authorities. – Reported by the New York Post


Array

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.

Tax Returns Disclosed by Major Party Nominees, 1976-2016
1976 1
Jimmy Carter
0 (summary data)
Gerald Ford
1980 5
Jimmy Carter
1
Ronald Reagan
1984 11
Walter Mondale
5
Ronald Reagan
1988 5
Michael Dukakis
14
George H.W. Bush
1992 12
Bill Clinton
18
George H.W. Bush
1996 19
Bill Clinton
30
Robert Dole
2000 8
Al Gore
9
George W. Bush
2004 20
John Kerry
13
George W. Bush
2008 7
Barack Obama
2
John McCain
2012 11
Barack Obama
2
Mitt Romney
2016 24
Hillary Clinton
0
Donald Trump
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.

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also resigned from a planning committee in protest. Caucus members said they will also boycott the rest of a weeklong series of events marking the 400th anniversary and have instead planned alternative commemorations Tuesday in Richmond, Virginia’s capital. Trump’s comments about Cummings were the latest rhetorical shot at a lawmaker of color to spark outrage. Earlier this month, Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his call for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now.” Caucus chair Del. Lamont Bagby said in an interview the group unanimously reached the boycott decision more than a week ago. But he said the president has “continued his attacks” since then and his remarks about Cummings’ district were more of the same. Virginia’s black state lawmakers announced Monday they will boycott a ceremony this week commemorating the beginnings of American democracy because President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend. Trump will join national and state leaders and dignitaries at Tuesday’s event, a commemorative session of the Virginia General Assembly at which Trump is to deliver remarks. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Monday that the caucus was pushing “a political agenda.” “The commemoration of the birth of this nation and its democracy will be tarnished unduly with the participation of the President, who continues to make degrading comments toward minority leaders, promulgate policies that harm marginalized communities, and use racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” the caucus said in a statement. The convening of a legislative assembly in 1619 formed the basis of today’s representative system of government in the United States. The Virginia General Assembly is considered the oldest continuously operating legislative body in North America. The caucus’ statement did not specifically mention Cummings but said Trump’s “repeated attacks on Black legislators and comments about Black communities makes him ill-suited to honor and commemorate such a monumental period in history.” When the Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported earlier in the month that Trump would take part in the event, top Democratic lawmakers said they would not attend. Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment said at the time that their decision was “disappointing and embarrassing.” The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said its members would not attend Tuesday’s event in historic Jamestown marking the 400th anniversary of the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere. The boycott comes after Trump’s weekend comments referring to Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore-area district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Tuesday’s events are just one part of a yearlong commemoration called American Evolution meant to honor key milestones in the state’s colonial history, including the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded Africans in English North America. “President Trump passed criminal justice reform, developed opportunity zones securing record-setting investment in distressed communities, and pushed policies that created the lowest unemployment rates ever for African Americans, so it’s a bit confusing and unfortunate that the VLBC would choose to push a political agenda instead of celebrate this milestone for our nation,” she said in a statement.

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A federal judge in D.C. wants President Donald Trump, New York state officials, and the U.S. House of Representatives to come up with a solution that would give the president “very modest relief” in the dispute over a law that allows the release of his tax returns, Politico reports. The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee at the beginning of this month filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department and the IRS in an effort to obtain Trump’s returns. Trump filed a lawsuit against the Ways and Means Committee, New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Schmidt to prevent the committee from doing so, arguing the committee lacks a legislative purpose for using the New York law to acquire the taxes. A New York law enacted in early July allows Congress’ tax committees to request public officials’ state tax returns from the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia acknowledged Trump’s concerns that his New York state tax returns could be turned over before the courts have a sufficient amount of time to consider constitutional and legal issues with the request. He gave the parties until 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday to use their “creativity” to reach an agreement. The separate cases were filed in federal court in D.C. this month.

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In January, Coats again was reportedly in Trump’s dog house when he told a Senate committee that North Korea was unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, which contradicted the president’s more optimistic view. At last year’s Aspen Security Forum, Coats reportedly angered Trump when he  appeared to criticize the president’s ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer slammed on Sunday President Donald Trump’s choice of Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, The Hill reported. “It’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller ” Schumer said in a statement. “If Senate Republicans elevate such a partisan player to a position that requires intelligence expertise and non-partisanship, it would be a big mistake.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter that the successor for Coats “must put patriotism before politics, and remember that his oath is to protect the Constitution and the American people, not the President.” Trump had reportedly soured on Coats several times during his tenure. Axios reported that Trump was impressed by Ratcliffe’s performance during his questioning of Mueller at congressional hearings on Wednesday. Sen Eliabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, added in a tweet that “Our Director of National Intelligence should be above partisan politics, speak truth to power, and resist Trump’s abuses of authority. John Ratcliffe doesn’t fit that bill.” It is not yet clear how the Senate overall will react to Ratcliffe’s nomination, according to The Hill.  However, his membership in the House Intelligence Committee will likely appeal to Republican senators.

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“I agree with my fellow members of the Washington delegation that, as we have learned about the gravity of the potential threats to our democracy identified in special counsel Mueller’s report, it has become clear that the House should begin proceedings to determine whether the president’s action necessitate impeachment,” Murray said in a statement shared on her website. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Sunday supported an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, a decision fueled by testimony provided by special counsel Robert Mueller last week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said the House would decide whether to begin proceedings, “when we have a best strongest possible case” and that such a decision “will be made in a timely fashion.” Murray, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, joins a growing list of Democrats pushing for impeachment, including all seven of Washington’s Democratic House members. Mueller in his testimony before the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees noted the 2000 Justice Department determination that “a sitting president is constitutionally immune from indictment and criminal prosecution.” He also said his team did not reach a determination whether Trump committed a crime.

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