“‘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.’”
That was former President Donald Trump’s reaction to his tax returns being made public.
The Democratic-controlled U.S. House Ways and Means committee released six years of Trump’s tax returns on Friday, after several years of legal wrangling with Republicans opposed to the publication, in an effort to provide transparency and help improve tax laws. Experts will be looking closely at large business losses reported by Trump that significantly reduced his tax liability.
Read more: What could be learned from Trump’s tax returns
And: Trump paid $0 taxes in 2020. He’s not alone
In his statement following the release, Trump countered that America’s partisan divide “will now grow far worse.”
“The radical, left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!” he added.
What’s more, the real estate mogul and former reality TV star turned commander-in-chief suggested the returns will demonstrate his business savvy. Trump and his wife, Melania, paid $0 in income taxes for 2020, according to a previous report released by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
“The ‘Trump’ tax returns once again show how proudly successful I have been,” he continued, “and how I have been able to use depreciation and various other tax deductions as an incentive for creating thousands of jobs and magnificent structures and enterprises.”
So why were Trump’s tax documents released? House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (a Democrat from Massachusetts) said in his opening statement on Friday that, “A president is no ordinary taxpayer. They hold power and influence unlike any other American. And with great power comes even greater responsibility.”
He added that, “Our work has always been to ensure our tax laws are administered fairly and without preference, because at times, even the power of a president can loom too large.”