A freshman Democrat and law professor said Monday she believes Congress has the know-how to review President Donald Trump’s tax returns after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Congress is not “smart enough” to review them.
“I’ll take that bet any time,” California Democratic Rep. Katie Porter told CNN’s Ana Cabrera. “I do my own taxes. I’m a law professor. I serve with a number of really bright people, folks who have owned small businesses, folks who have been venture capitalists.”
Porter’s comment was in response to Sanders, who called the attempts from Democrats in Congress to obtain Trump’s tax information “a disgusting overreach” on Sunday and argued the sitting members of Congress would not be smart enough to review the returns if they get them.
“I don’t think Congress, particularly not this group of congressmen and women, are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump’s taxes will be,” Sanders said.
The back-and-forth over Trump’s taxes added to the broader dispute between the Trump administration and House Democrats, who have sought to obtain the tax returns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week he would not meet a deadline set by House Democrats to turn over the President’s returns, and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal wrote in a letter on Saturday to the Internal Revenue Service he expected a decision by April 23.
In her CNN interview, Porter said that Congress had not only the “acumen to look at the President’s tax returns,” it also had “the legal duty to do so.”
“So for the secretary to attack the intelligence and the integrity of members of Congress is just one more thing out of Donald Trump’s playbook, which is to continue to attack anyone in government who doesn’t want to do what he wants to do,” Porter said.
Porter mentioned in the interview that she was trained in tax law and had “every confidence” her colleagues and herself were capable. As CNN noted on Sunday, three Democratic members of Congress are trained as certified public accountants, and there are 10 accountants overall in this Congress, according to the Congressional Research Service.
CNN’s Devan Cole and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.