President Donald Trump's tax returns and his infamous decision to conceal them from the public have been a source of controversy since before his election in 2016. Many have speculated that Trump is avoiding releasing his returns because they'd give insight to problematic, perhaps even criminal dealings.
Trump's rather consistent excuse for the past two and a half years has been that he's under audit and must release them after that audit is complete. Many have pointed out that audits don't hinder the process of releasing tax returns.
Maybe Trump will believe that now that Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig had to answer the question directly for a House Appropriations Committee panel, which requested that Rettig release Trump's returns to them last week.
Rettig's answer as to whether or not tax returns can be released while under audit is pretty straightforward.
Rep. Bishop: "If anybody's tax return is under audit, is there a rule that would prohibit that taxpayer from releas… https://t.co/UX3G3IGsVA— NBC News (@NBC News) 1554864239.0
In responding to Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rettig replied:
"I think I've answered that question. No."
While Rettig hesitated to get into specifics regarding the President, he conceded that audits do not prohibit a person from releasing their tax returns.
People were excited to let Trump know.
@NBCNews But can you please say it loud enough for old man @realDonaldTrump to hear you.— kay gee (@kay gee) 1554864969.0
@NBCNews @CheriJacobus Hey @realDonaldTrump - care to comment?— Dan Topping (@Dan Topping) 1554895515.0
People weren't necessarily surprised by Rettig's answer, however.
@NBCNews We all knew that— Louis Boudreault (@Louis Boudreault) 1554903661.0
@NBCNews He answered it. There’s no rule to prohibit the release of Trump’s tax return despite being under audit.… https://t.co/icJpn8BKcH— MCoxley (@MCoxley) 1554879446.0
@NBCNews TRUMP JUST USES THE AUDIT BS AS AN EXCUSE-MOST AMERICANS KNOW THE TRUTH BUT TRUMP PLAYS HIS BASE LIKE KIM JONG UN PLAYED TRUMP— DIANA PARKS (@DIANA PARKS) 1554893946.0
But many questions remain about the audit, like: Does it exist? If it does, why has it continued for so long?
@NBCNews Has anyone from the @IRStaxpros confirmed the audit??— Nicole Michelle (@Nicole Michelle) 1554892980.0
@NBCNews I know this is a dumb question but......why can't Congress simply ASK the IRS, in hearings or in private,… https://t.co/OCezB9A2w7— David May 85 (@David May 85) 1554905535.0
@NBCNews No tax audit in the world last for 4 yrs. Local, state, federal, including international taxes audits tak… https://t.co/FaD5HSqQm7— grannystanding4Truth (@grannystanding4Truth) 1554869265.0
Curiouser and curiouser...