There's Another Whistleblower Complaint Against Trump You May Not Have Heard Abou

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A second whistleblower could be waiting in the wings to further frustrate Donald Trump, even as he continues to fume about another who exposed his troubling phone call with Ukraine’s president earlier this month.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said on Friday that he has been discussing with attorneys working in the House of Representatives about releasing the details of the second complaint.

“The complaint purportedly comes from a federal employee and focuses on allegations of impropriety in the Internal Revenue Service’s mandatory audit of Trump’s tax returns,” Talking Points Memo noted Monday.

In a brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in August, the Ways and Means Committee said that a “federal employee” had approached them with “evidence of possible misconduct” along with “inappropriate efforts” to influence an audit of Trump.

In another brief filed last week, the committee referred to “the absence of safeguards to protect IRS employees and the audit process from improper influence.”

The IRS complaint appears to echo concerns outlined in the first whistleblower complaint, which helped to trigger an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

In the original whistleblower complaint, concerns were been raised about Trump’s attempt to solicit political dirt from Ukraine on his 2020 election rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. It also detailed the White House’s efforts to hide the phone call by moving a memorandum of its readout to a “codeword” system intended to restrict access to only a handful of people.

Tampering with call readouts or failing to file them with the official record may constitute a violation of the the Presidential Records Act, CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd noted in a Politico column this week.

The IRS complaint reportedly highlights similar concerns relating to Trump’s taxes.

Trump has insisted, without evidence, that his taxes are under audit by the IRS, refusing to disclose them or cooperate with congressional efforts to obtain them. The complaint reportedly alleges that there were inappropriate attempts to “influence” that audit, though it’s not yet clear what those attempts may have been, or who may be involved.

Trump is the first president in four decades, from either major party, not to release his taxes.

Reporting on Trump’s returns has shown him overstating his net worth and allegedly violating tax law.

When they had the majority in the House, Republicans repeatedly refused to pursue Trump’s returns. Democrats have requested the returns since taking over the House, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has so far refused those requests.

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