White House press secretary Sarah Sanders stated that members of Congress are not “smart enough” to understand President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” with host Chris Wallace, Sanders addressed the ongoing fight by Democrats to obtain and publicize the returns as a “dangerous, dangerous road.”
“One of the biggest things that I think people aren’t seeing is the fact that the only reason that the Oversight Committee has the ability to request someone’s taxes are for the purpose of determining policy,” Sanders said, responding to the last “lightning round” question from Wallace.
“This has nothing to do with whether or not they are going to determine policy. This is all about political partisanship. This is a dangerous, dangerous road, and frankly, Chris, I don’t think Congress, particularly not this group of congressmen and women, are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump’s taxes will be.”
“My guess is most of them don’t do their own taxes and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has and determine anything,” she added.
“He has filled out hundreds of pages in a financial disclosure form and I think it is a disgusting overreach that they are making when they’re not doing this based on policy. And it puts every American who has filled out tax forms in the past, it puts them all at jeopardy. If they can single one, they can single out everybody.”
House Ways and Means Committee chair Richard Neal asked for six years of Trump tax returns earlier this month, pointing to the word “shall” in a statute that says the Treasury secretary must hand over tax returns when congressional tax committee heads ask for them. However, as Sanders stated, they will likely need to cite a legitimate legislative reason if they are to win an inevitable court challenge to their request.
“Broad as is [Congress’] power of inquiry, it is not unlimited,” said the Supreme Court in deciding the 1957 case Watkins v. U.S. “There is no general authority to expose the private affairs of individuals without justification in terms of the functions of the Congress.”
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