When Mitch McConnel used rule 19 to rebuke Elizabeth Warren, he may have done something more important than creating a feminist slogan—he inspired other politicians to dig up old rules too, and he might not like the results.
Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey is taking the tactic and using it against Donald Trump. Pascrell is evoking a 1924 law that states that Congress can demand to see tax returns to evaluate any conflicts of interests an elected official might have—including the President.
In a letter, Pascrell states:
President Trump has chosen to keep an ownership stake in his businesses, the scope of which we have no knowledge of as he has refused to disclose his tax returns. We believe that it is imperative for the public to know and understand his 564 financial positions in domestic and foreign companies, and his self-reported net worth of more than $10 billion. We know that state-owned enterprises in China and the United Arab Emirates are involved in his businesses, and that his business ties stretch to India, Turkey, the Philippines, and beyond. Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan may also have ties to his businesses. These foreign entities are paying rents, licensing agreement payments, and issuing permits for developments — effectively giving them a tool to influence our new President.
He also evoked son New Jersey bravado, saying “If these guys think I’m walking away from this, they’re absolutely nuts.”
If he succeeds, we might see Trump’s tax returns after all.