House Republicans voted en mass to block a Democratic attempt to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns late Monday.
The measure was introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Under a 1924 law, the Ways and Means Committee is empowered to examine tax returns.
Republicans won the vote against resolution seeking president’s tax returns 229-185. All Democrats were in favor of the release, reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Democrats say documents could show whether Trump has business ties to Russia
“If there’s nothing there, then what are Republicans afraid of?” Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. She reportedly said Republicans “made themselves accomplices” to Trump in hiding his financial affairs.
Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns is a break with presidential tradition, which has raised many questions about his connections with the Russian federation.
This is not the first time Republicans intervened to protect Trump from a potential scandal that could lead to impeachment.
Two weeks ago, House Republicans blocked an attempt by Democrats to use an obscure law to obtain the tax returns from the IRS. Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee framed the issue as a matter of national security, questioning whether Trump has any investments in Russia.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, said last week that she is open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump’s tax returns for potential connections to Russia.
Collins was asked if the committee would subpoena Trump, who’s also a Republican. She said she hopes for “voluntary cooperation” but is open to using a subpoena if necessary.