Washington: A top Republican lawmaker has urged a probe into the sources of a media report which revealed that President Donald Trump did not pay his income tax for 10 of the 15 years before the 2016 election.
In a statement on Monday, Texas Republican Kevin Brady said a “felony crime was committed” by The New York Times report that revealed the President’s tax records and financial dealings, which also revealed that Trump paid only $750 in 2016 and in his first year in the White House, The Hill news website reported.
“While many critics question the article’s accuracy, equally troubling is the prospect that a felony crime was committed by releasing the private tax return information of an individual – in this case the President’s.
“To ensure every American is protected against the illegal release of their tax returns for political reasons, I am calling for an investigation of the source and to prosecute if the law was broken,” Brady added.
The New York Times newspaper revealed the information on Sunday after obtaining Trump’s tax information for the last 20 years.
The Times said it reviewed tax returns relating to the President and the companies owned by the Trump Organization going back to the 1990s, as well as his personal returns for 2016 and 2017, reports the BBC.
It said the President paid just $750 in income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, while he paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the past 15 years, “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made”.
Trump has denied the report and called it “totally fake news”.
Trump has faced legal challenges for refusing to share documents concerning his fortune and business.
He is the first US President since the 1970s not to make his tax returns public, though this is not required by law.