Former President Donald Trump and his wife Melania reported negative income in four of the six years covered by the couple’s joint tax returns, which were released on Friday by the Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.
While the committee earlier published a report and some documents that revealed details about the Trumps’ income and taxes paid, the panel on Dec. 30 made the full set of tax documents public.
The complete assortment of tax return documents, which cover the years 2015 to 2020, consists of over 2,700 pages of individual returns for Trump and Melania and over 3,000 pages for the former president’s businesses.
Key information found in the tax returns includes the fact that the Trumps reported negative income in four of the six years covered by the documentation and paid around $1.8 million in taxes.
The release of the documents prompted a sharp rebuke from Trump, who warned that the move sets a dangerous precedent.
“The Democrats should have never done it, the supreme court should have never approved it, and it’s going to lead to horrible things for so many people,” Trump said in a statement to media outlets.
‘Power to Embarrass, Harass, or Destroy Americans’
When the Democrat-led panel earlier released preliminary information about the Trumps’ tax returns, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, opposed the move and argued that the information contained in such disclosures could be spun by political foes.
“It’s the power to embarrass, harass, or destroy Americans through disclosure of their tax returns,” Brady said moments before the committee went into a closed session for a vote.
“After nearly half a century, the political enemies list is back in Washington, D.C., and we worry this will unleash a cycle of political retribution in Congress,” Brady added.
Trump, in his remarks Friday, struck a similar tone, warning that the move would stoke political divisions and that it could fuel a tit-for-tat.
“The great USA divide will now grow far worse. The radical, left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!” Trump said.
By Tom Ozimek