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House Democrats release Trump's tax returns

Updated December 30, 2022 at 11:47 AM ET

Former President Donald Trump's tax returns from 2015 through 2020 have been made public by the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee — concluding a years-long political battle by Democrats to obtain and share the documents.

The committee released the tax returns Friday morning on its website and provided no new additional information or statements.

The move comes over a week after the panel voted to release the former president's tax returns and announced that the Internal Revenue Service did not audit Trump in 2017 or 2018 when he was in office — something the IRS is required to do annually for the president and vice president.

"A president is no ordinary taxpayer," committee Chair Richard Neal said in a statement last week, following the announcement. "They hold power and influence unlike any other American. And with great power comes even greater responsibility."

The initial announcement was paired with a report from the nonpartisan congressional committee the Joint Committee on Taxation, which detailed the top findings from the six years of obtained tax returns from the former president and his wife, Melania Trump.

Notably, the report highlighted that the former president paid $0 in federal taxes in 2020 and just $750 in 2016 and 2017. In contrast, in 2018, he paid $999,466 and $133,445 in 2019.

It also found that Trump documented no taxable income in his joint returns for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020. Plus, there were millions of reported losses from the former president's business and personal income while in office.

Present on each year of Trump's tax returns was additional income in the form of related-party loans to several of Trump's children, totaling approximately $51,000 annually from 2015 to 2019 and $46,000 in 2020.

In a statement within an hour of the release Friday, Trump condemned the move by Democrats, saying they had "weaponized everything," adding, "that is a dangerous two-way street."

Friday's release marks the end of a legal battle between Trump and the Democratic-led panel dating back to 2019. The nature of Trump's taxes has been in question since his 2016 campaign when he refused to voluntarily release the information, something previous presidential candidates have done.

This fall, Trump continued his attempts to halt the release of the information, requesting the Supreme Court bar the Ways and Means Committee from making the tax returns public. The high court blocked the request last month.

The release marks one of the final offensive moves for House Democrats before they lose a majority in the chamber come January, a move Republican opponents were aware of in the lead-up to Friday's announcement.

In a briefing to reporters Thursday morning, GOP aides argued that Democrats' decision to release the report could have political consequences, including the potential of future partisan-led investigations into public officials' finances.

"This is not what serious oversight looks like," a GOP aide told reporters, adding, "We're worried about a cycle of political retribution that might come from this and one that will make our politics even more divisive. We think folks will come to regret this. We think Democrats will come to regret this, and I think they may regret it sooner than they think."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elena Moore is a production assistant for the NPR Politics Podcast. She also fills in as a reporter for the NewsDesk. Moore previously worked as a production assistant for Morning Edition. During the 2020 presidential campaign, she worked for the Washington Desk as an editorial assistant, doing both research and reporting. Before coming to NPR, Moore worked at NBC News. She is a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is originally and proudly from Brooklyn, N.Y.