If you ever want to know when you’re moving too slowly, it’s when you’ve radicalized the Center for American Progress (boldface mine):
President Trump’s absurd claim that a four-page summary of the Russia investigation’s findings grants him “total exoneration,” and his efforts to bully Democrats and the media into groveling for forgiveness for supposedly having gotten this scandal wrong, are all about what lies ahead. The obvious game is to chill further scrutiny — which very much constitutes a live threat to Trump that no amount of furious tweeting about “exoneration” can make disappear.
Which is why Democrats should, if anything, be intensifying their effort to access Trump’s tax returns right now, not dragging their feet on it.
The Center for American Progress is trying to increase the pressure on Democrats to do just that — by releasing a new memo which argues that getting the returns is a legal slam dunk, and is absolutely justifiable, or even imperative, as a matter of basic oversight and good governance…
Now, HuffPost reports reports that Neal is saying this whole process could end up meaning we don’t see Trump’s returns until after the 2020 election. Neal is claiming he has little control over this — “I can’t substitute my timetable for the federal courts,” he says — but this does not say anything about why he is not acting with more urgency.
Enter the Center for American Progress memo, which argues at length that the law is unambiguously clear. “If Congress asks for any tax returns, the [Internal Revenue Service] must provide them,” the memo says.
The memo is very good, if long. One important point the memo makes is that Congress has the ability to determine if something is not a violation of the emoluments clause, and to make this determination, Congress needs to see his taxes, as Trump hasn’t put his wealth into a blind trust (there are lots of other good points in the memo too).
It seems like pressuring Democratic Rep. Richard Neal to exercise some damn oversight isn’t just for the Dirty Fucking Hippies anymore…