Today Professor Bowman was a guest, with Heritage Foundation representative Hans van Spakovsky, on the podcast “Lawyer 2 Lawyer.” The topic was the Mueller Report and its implications for impeachment. Link Big Agnes Big House 6 Deluxe Tent.
The Ways and Means Committee of the United States House of Representatives Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent - Grey orange - 2 Personthat the I.R.S. turn over President Trump’s tax returns and related information from the past six years. The Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Richard Neal, notes that the reason for his request is to examine audit procedures for a president.
William S. Consovoy, retained by President Trump to represent him on this matter, responded to the request with Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 - NEW sent to the U.S. Treasury Department, advising the I.R.S. not to turn over the returns. He argues in that letter that President Trump has a privacy interest in his tax returns, which should be protected, and that the Ways and Means Committee has no legitimate reason for requesting them. He claims that the reasons put forth by Neal are disingenuous and meant to hide his true motivation, which is purely political.
The congressional authority to request tax returns is codified in Big Agnes Copper Spur Platinum Tent 2-Person 3-Season, which reads in part:
“Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request . . . .”
Emphasis is added here to demonstrate that, generally, the I.R.S. does not have the discretion to refuse a request for tax records from Congress. However, as Ross Garber points out Big Agnes Deep Creek Tarp - Green Large, the Supreme Court has held that Congress exceeds its constitutional authority when requesting documents without a legitimate legislative purpose. He predicts a lengthy legal battle to determine whether such a legitimate reason actually exists, which Congress will ultimately lose by reason of lack of legal authority or eventual mootness. Still, all is not lost. Garber points out that if the returns are not ultimately turned over, then they could become a future article of impeachment, for failure to turn over tax returns for improper reasons.
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Representative Al Green has expressed his Big Agnes Tensleep Station 4 Tent Green NO SIZE articles of impeachment this year. He introduced articles Big Agnes Titan 6 MtnGLO Tent 6-Person 3-Season, citing Trump’s bigotry and racism as evidence of his lack of integrity and unfitness for office, and, forcing a vote on the floor, summoned the support of 60 democrats. He is not dissuaded by Attorney General Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report, and the lack of evidence of conspiracy between the President and the Russian government. He maintains that Trump is unfit for office because of his discriminatory decisions and statements.
Green’s position is similar, if more narrow, to that which has been put forth by Professor Bowman who presents “a view of impeachment as an essential tool in the case of a president who consistently violates legal and behavioral norms essential to the preservation of American constitutional order.”
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Attorney General William Barr has released a four-page summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. In it he announced that Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to establish the President Trump’s campaign conspired with Russian groups to manipulate the results of the 2016 election. Additionally, he writes that Mueller did not make a recommendation as to whether the President should be charged with obstruction of justice, but rather presented evidence on both sides of the issue and deferred to the Attorney General. Bar and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have decided not to pursue indictment of the President on that charge. Barr notes that he intends to release as much of the report as will not violate Billy Cook Saddlery Spotted Feather Racer, governing the release of grand jury information. After the release of Mueller’s findings, the House of Representatives will have to decide whether they believe the evidence is sufficient for impeachment.