An IRS official filed a complaint alleging that he was told that at least one Treasury Department official tried to interfere with an audit of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions says he still supports Trump despite ouster as AG House Republicans voice concerns about White House’s impeachment messaging Giuliani consulted with Manafort on Ukraine info: report MORE‘s or Vice President Pence’s tax returns, according to The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the complaint.
The whistleblower spoke to the Post and confirmed that he had filed the complaint to Congress’s tax-writing committees and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
“I steadfastly refuse to discuss the substance or details of the complaint, but I have some legitimate concerns about reckless statements being made about whistleblowers,” he told the Post.
The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee first mentioned in court documents in August that it had received credible allegations from a federal employee of potentially inappropriate attempts to influence the IRS’s mandatory audit program for presidential and vice presidential tax returns.
The Post’s story provides details that had not been in court documents, including that the complaint was made by a career IRS employee and that it alleges potential interference in the audit program by a political employee at the Treasury Department.
The Ways and Means Committee has filed a lawsuit in an effort to obtain six years of Trump’s federal tax returns, and has said it wants these documents because it’s conducting oversight and is interested in legislative proposals concerning how the IRS audits presidents. The IRS’s internal policies require mandatory audits of the president and vice president’s tax returns, but this policy isn’t codified into law.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOvernight Health Care: Watchdog finds DEA allowed more opioids even as overdose deaths rose | Judge temporarily blocks Georgia abortion law | Three states report more vaping deaths | Dem proposes new fix for surprise medical bills On The Money: Trump blames Fed as manufacturing falters | US to join Trump lawsuit over NY subpoena for tax returns | Ex-Rep. Chris Collins pleads guilty in insider trading case Democratic chairman proposes new fix for surprise medical bills MORE (D-Mass.) told reporters last week that a decision on whether to publicly release the whistleblower complaint is “subject to what counsel advises.”
Some progressive activists have called on Neal to publicly release more information about the tax-return whistleblower complaint.
The complaint has received increased attention in the media in recent days, following revelations of a separate whistleblower complaint reporting that Trump had asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Republicans voice concerns about White House’s impeachment messaging Giuliani consulted with Manafort on Ukraine info: report Top Pence adviser was on Trump-Zelensky phone call at center of whistleblower complaint: report MORE and his son, Hunter Biden. That incident spurred House Democrats to open an impeachment inquiry.
The Trump administration is urging a judge to dismiss the Ways and Means Committee’s tax-return lawsuit, arguing that the committee can’t require the federal courts to take a side in the dispute. The committee disagrees that the lawsuit should be dismissed.
A hearing is scheduled in the lawsuit on Nov. 6. The judge assigned to the case is Trevor McFadden, a federal judge in D.C. appointed by Trump.
Updated at 5: 40 p.m.