July 30, 2021

This will be very brief because I am without power again, and am operating on a generator that is undoubtedly keeping the neighbors awake.

Today, the Department of Justice ruled that the Treasury Department can release to Congress six years of former president Trump’s tax returns. Trump was the first president since Richard M. Nixon to refuse to disclose his taxes, and the House Ways and Means Committee requested them in April 2019.

The fight to obtain Trump’s tax returns has stretched on for years, and it has finally been resolved in a way consistent with the law that covers this case, which says: “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 [of the Treasury] shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure.”

It remains possible that Trump will contest this decision in court. If he does not, Congress will finally have access to Trump’s tax returns.

Incredibly, after all these years, this is not today’s big story.

Today’s bigger story is that the House Oversight Committee released notes taken by the acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue during a phone call between former president Donald Trump and acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen on December 27, 2020. Rosen took over at the Department of Justice after Attorney General William Barr left on December 14.

The notes record how the former president tried to get the Department of Justice to say that the 2020 election was “corrupt” in order to overturn it. In the call, Trump listed the many ways in which he believed the results were false, insisting that the election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and Michigan all were “corrupted” and said it was statistically impossible for him to have lost the election.

Rosen “Told him flat out that much of the info he is getting is false, +/or just not supported by the evidence… we looked at allegations but they don’t pan out.”

When Rosen told the former president that the Department of Justice “can’t and won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election, doesn’t work that way,” Trump said: “Don’t expect you to do that, just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the R[epublican] Congressmen.”

The January 6 insurrection was ten days later.

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Notes:

https://apnews.com/article/barr-no-widespread-election-fraud-b1f1488796c9a98c4b1a9061a6c7f49d

https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/DOJ%20Donoghue%20Notes%20Extract%20for%20Production.pdf

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https://www.justice.gov/olc/file/1419111/download

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