Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, leaves a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol on January 4, 2019. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Progressives Say Democrats Have Duty to Inform Public About 'Potentially Explosive' Whistleblower Alleging Trump Effort to Corrupt IRS

"The House Ways and Means Committee must figure out a way to make the public aware of the serious cause to worry that the IRS might have been corrupted by Trump."

Jake Johnson, staff writer

House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Richard Neal is reportedly sitting on a credible and "potentially explosive" whistleblower complaint alleging that President Donald Trump attempted to influence an IRS audit of his tax returns.

On Wednesday, as much of the public's attention focused on a whistleblower complaint regarding Trump and Ukraine, HuffPost reported that a federal employee in July approached the House Ways and Means Committee with evidence the president "tried to corrupt an Internal Revenue Service audit of his personal tax returns."

"If the House Ways and Means Committee believes that Donald Trump has unduly influenced the IRS, they have a duty to make the public aware of this blatant act of corruption."
—Ryan Thomas, Stand Up America

Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has refused to discuss the tax whistleblower's claims in public, opting instead to use the official's allegations to strengthen the Ways and Means Committee's legal effort to obtain Trump's tax returns.

But now that House Democrats are moving forward with a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump, progressives are demanding that Neal break his silence on the whistleblower complaint and give the public as much information as possible about another potential abuse of power by the president.

"If the House Ways and Means Committee believes that Donald Trump has unduly influenced the IRS, they have a duty to make the public aware of this blatant act of corruption," Ryan Thomas, spokesperson for progressive advocacy group Stand Up America, told Common Dreams.

In a brief filed in a Washington, D.C. federal court last month, the House Ways and Means Committee said it received "unsolicited communication" from a federal employee on July 29 detailing "credible allegations of 'evidence of possible misconduct'—specifically, potential 'inappropriate efforts to influence' the mandatory audit program."

HuffPost reported that the committee's filing "provided no further detail about the whistleblower, but in a footnote, Democrats offered to tell U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden all about it in private."

"A spokesman for the committee said this week that McFadden, a Trump nominee who donated to the Trump 2016 campaign and volunteered for the Trump presidential transition, has so far not asked to hear more about the whistleblower," according to HuffPost.

Jeff Hauser, director of Revolving Door Project, an anti-corruption group, told HuffPost that publicizing the tax whistleblower's complaint could strengthen the case for impeachment.

"The House Ways and Means Committee must figure out a way to make the public aware of the serious cause to worry that the IRS might have been corrupted by Trump," Hauser said.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

NYC Mayoral Candidate Eric Adams Rebuked for 'Dangerous' 400-Students-to-1-Teacher Theory

"Defunding schools to the point that we have a 400:1 student-to-teacher ratio so we can bankroll another huge expansion in an already-multibillion dollar police budget," said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, "is how you build a school-to-prison pipeline."

Jon Queally, staff writer ·


Lack of Patent Waiver Would Add Over $70 Billion to Cost of Vaccinating World: Oxfam

Most of that money, said a spokesperson for the group, "will go directly into the pockets" of Big Pharma shareholders.

Jon Queally, staff writer ·


Darnella Frazier Receives Pulitzer Special Citation 'for Courageously Recording the Murder of George Floyd'

"Without Darnella, Derek Chauvin never would have been tried and George Floyd would have been blamed by the state for his own death."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


'We Are Sounding the Alarm': Global Left Warns Right-Wing Fujimori Trying to Steal Election in Peru

"Fujimori’s only way forward to victory is simple: annul tens of thousands of already tallied votes," warned Progressive International. "Powerful forces are organizing to deliver this outcome."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


'Climate Denial Masquerading as Bipartisanship': Progressives Reject Latest Infrastructure Compromise

"Refusing to act on climate means selling out future generations. The future of our planet and the health of our communities are non-negotiable."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·