Dems Propose Legislation To Keep Trump’s Name Off 2020 Ballot

New Jersey Democrat lawmakers are aiming to enact legislation designed to keep President Trump’s name off the ballot in 2020.

They are targeting Trump with a proposal that “requires candidates for President and Vice-President and the United States to disclose federal income tax returns to appear on the ballot.”

Electoral College electors would be prohibited from voting for candidates who fail to file income tax returns” under the proposal.

Trump maintained during the 2016 presidential election that he was advised by his attorney not to release his returns because he is under audit by the IRS.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed similar legislation in 2017, arguing the bill was a “transparent political stunt masquerading as a bill.” He instead recommended the state’s Open Public Record Act be expanded instead, but Democrats rejected his proposal.

With Democrats controlling the New Jersey Legislature and Democrat Phil Murphy serving as the state’s governor, the legislation is likely to pass.

Meanwhile, newly empowered House Democrats took steps Thursday to obtain Trump’s tax returns. In a Ways and Means oversight subcommittee hearing, Democrats argued the president is potentially hiding violations of federal tax laws and compromising the interest of the United States by withholding his returns.

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D – NJ, insisted during one exchange that the subcommittee is intent on entrapping the president by demanding he disclose his returns.

“We are not interested in getting someone,” Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, said during one exchange. “We are interested in following the law, period.”

“Overwhelmingly, the public wants to see the president’s tax returns,” added Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D – Calif. “They want to know the truth. They want to know the facts. And he has nothing to hide.”

Section 6103 of the federal tax code allows the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee extraordinary powers to request the Treasury Department provide him information on any filer, including the president. The statute allows the committee to review the tax information privately, but it would have to vote to disclose any return information or findings to the public.

However, there is scarce precedent of the law being used to investigate an individual, much less the president. Federal courts would likely determine the outcome of the legal challenge.

Republicans argued Democratic lawmakers simply want to violate Trump’s privacy, which sets a dangerous precedent that enables political retribution and abusing the power of law.

The president noted on Thursday that the House Democrat’s numerous inquiries into his personal life, his businesses and his administration constituted “presidential harassment.

In November, Trump told reporters that he would block Democrats’ request if he were still under audit, but would consider a disclosure upon completion of the audit.

“They’re under audit. They have been for a long time,” he said.  “If I were finished with the audit, I would have an open mind to it. When that happens, if that happens, I would certainly have an open mind to it.”

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