It's been a long, hard-fought battle, but House Democrats finally have access to President Trump's tax returns. After three years of costly court battles (costly to us, not them), the U.S. Supreme Court determined this week that they must be handed over and the Treasury Department has stated that they have already turned over Trump's personal and business tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The ruling is a major victory for Democrats, who have been seeking Trump's tax information since he took office in 2017. Trump has repeatedly claimed that he is unable to release his tax returns because they are under audit by the IRS, but the agency has said that audits do not prevent taxpayers from releasing their own information.
Democrats say they need access to Trump's taxes in order to determine whether he has complied with tax laws and whether he has any conflicts of interest. They also hope to use the tax return data to inform future legislation on tax reform. At least, that's what they claim.
Tax returns provide critical information about a person's income, charitable giving, investment portfolio, and more. They can also reveal potential conflicts of interest, such as ties to foreign countries or investments in companies that could pose a conflict for a public official.
Trump is the only major party nominee in modern history who has refused to release his tax returns, saying that he is under audit by the IRS (though the agency has said that audits do not prevent taxpayers from releasing their own information). By refusing to release his taxes, Trump broke decades of tradition set by presidential candidates from both parties.
So, what does this all mean now? Well, not a lot. The Democrats are going to find something that they don't like, but I would be willing to bet money that they can't find anything illegal. What they need to be doing instead is looking at Joe Biden's money and how connected it is to Ukraine and Hunter's business dealings.