House Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman didn’t mince words Tuesday when turning White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ assertion that members of Congress weren’t “smart enough” to review President Donald Trump’s tax returns back on the White House.
“I’m surprised to see Sarah Sanders talking about intelligence,” Sherman, a certified public accountant with a law degree, told CNN’s Dana Bash on “CNN Newsroom” Tuesday. “If she thought that was an important characteristic, she probably would have chosen another employer.”
The California Democrat criticized Sanders for “attacking” members of Congress over a task that he believes they are clearly capable of doing. Ten members of Congress are accountants.
“Obviously all of my fellow members of the CPA and accountant caucus could understand whatever documents are produced, and I think to not turn them over is without defense,” Sherman said. “And attacking the intelligence of members of Congress seems to be the only thing that the President’s spokesperson can do.”
Sanders said Sunday that congressional Democrats lacked the brains to analyze the President’s tax returns that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal formally requested earlier this month.
“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 told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.
“My guess is most of them don’t do their own taxes, and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the President has and determine anything,” she added.
Sherman said Tuesday that, as “the President has billed himself as very generous,” lawmakers would look at Trump’s professed charitable giving and interpretation of tax law.
“It’s one thing to pay less than you would pay if the law were different,” he added. “It’s another thing to stretch the law and make use of loopholes, so we’d want to see that as well.”
CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.