Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tell the U.S. Senate: Resist Trump installing a puppet IRS commissioner

Tell the U.S. Senate:
"Resist Trump unilaterally installing an IRS acting commissioner who could interfere with audits and investigations into Trump and his associates' potential tax fraud and money laundering."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump and Russia is working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) criminal division, according to recent reports.1 But Donald Trump could handpick a loyalist as the acting IRS commissioner, despite the blatant conflict of interest.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s term ends in November. But instead of nominating someone who would face Senate confirmation, Trump could simply name a trusted crony as a “temporary” appointment who would wield the exact same power.2
The Senate must pressure Trump to not install a puppet IRS commissioner without senators’ advice and consent.We can win this fight if all the members of the Senate Democratic caucus and key Republican senators who are concerned about the integrity of the Russia investigation hold firm. Our activism is crucial, and it works. Together we have stopped Trumpcare three times, and now we must demonstrate that the public is paying attention and will not tolerate Trump picking an IRS chief while he or his associates are under investigation for wrongdoing, potentially including tax fraud and money laundering.
Trump has already installed more than 1000 political appointments to head up federal agencies – all without Senate approval. The administration has been able to place industry insiders and shadowy Trump loyalists in charge of much of the government’s day-to-day operations. Trump could do the same thing with the IRS, unless the Senate insists that he play by the rules.3
Even before the 2016 election, the IRS joined the FBI in investigating former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on suspicion of money laundering and tax fraud.4 In recent weeks, the IRS has coordinated with special counsel Mueller on his investigation of Manafort and other Trump associates, including former White House national security adviser, Michael Flynn.5 As Mueller’s investigation has gotten closer to Trump’s finances, Trump has accused the special counsel of crossing a line, prompting many to speculate that Mueller's firing is imminent.6
The IRS' cooperation is crucial for federal prosecutors in investigating tax crimes, and Trump has made it clear he will go to great lengths to hinder Mueller’s investigation – possibly even installing someone loyal to him to oversee the IRS. The Senate must intercede now – we need to keep reminding Democrats to use their power to keep Trump from being able to advance his dangerous agenda on any front, especially when it comes to the agency investigating his ties to Russia.
Beyond the many conflicts of interest that relate to the Russia investigation, Trump still refuses to release his tax returns, claiming he is unable to do so while under audit.7 The IRS has audited both the president and the vice president every year since Watergate, when Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew’s personal taxes were under scrutiny and Agnew resigned over tax evasion. These regular audits are designed to uphold public confidence in the IRS as a fair, non-partisan body.8 Congress cannot allow Trump to handpick his own auditor.
As the head of the agency that enacts tax policy, the next IRS commissioner will also oversee Trump's audit and potential audits of other administration officials, along with evidence in the Russia investigation. The public must have confidence in the impartiality of this appointment.
It is unacceptable that the Trump administration has gotten away with circumventing congressional approval on so many crucial government roles, but when it comes to the IRS commissioner, the Senate must intercede. That is why CREDO is standing alongside our friends at the Revolving Door Project and other progressive allies to demand that the Senate assert its authority and resist Trump installing an acting IRS commissioner.9
Senate Democrats and Republicans who will stand up against corruption must have a backbone and be a total firewall against Trump’s attempts to undermine ongoing investigations.
Tell the U.S. Senate: Resist and resist Trump from installing an IRS acting commissioner. Click the link below to sign the petition:
-Kaili Lambe, Director of Organizing
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Manu Raju, Pamela Brown and Evan Perez, “Exclusive: IRS shares information with special counsel in Russia probe,” CNN, Sept. 26, 2017.
  2. Saleha Mohsin, “Trump Prepares to Pick His Own Auditor at the IRS,” Bloomberg, Sept. 28, 2017.
  3. Derek Kravitz, Isaac Arnsdorf and Marina Affo, “Lifting the Veil on Another Batch of Shadowy Trump Appointees," ProPublica, Aug. 31, 2017.
  4. Nicole Bertrand, “The IRS and special counsel Mueller just took a big step forward in the Russia probe,” Business Insider, Sept. 27, 2017.
  5. Raju et al, “Exclusive: IRS shares information with special counsel in Russia probe.”
  6. Jacqueline Thomsen, “Trump warns Mueller against investigating his family's finances beyond Russia probe,” The Hill, July 19, 2017.
  7. Steve Benen, “GOP again moves to help keep Trump’s tax returns secret," MSNBC, Sept. 8, 2017.
  8. Jeanne Sahadi, “The president always gets audited (and the veep too),” CNN, April 17, 2017.
  9. Revolving Door Project et al., “Re: Pending Vacancy in the Office of Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service,” Sept. 21, 2017.

No comments:

Post a Comment