Senate Democrats To Use Turkey Sanctions To Trap Trump On Releasing His Tax Returns

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) wants to add an amendment to the Turkey sanctions bill requiring Trump to release his tax returns.

Sen. Murphy said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:

No one but Trump is to blame for the chaos Turkey has unleashed in Syria, and we all need to acknowledge it will be difficult to put the genie back in the bottle at this point. It’s absurd that Trump is now sanctioning Turkey for an invasion that he invited and announced. No one should fall for this attempted about-face.

Congress now has a decision to make: do something in haste that makes us feel powerful or do something strategic that accounts for the fact that much of the harm Trump has done cannot be reversed. First, Congress has a responsibility to get to the bottom of why Trump made this surprise decision last Sunday night. Any legislation that Congress takes up should require the president, and any candidate for president, to disclose their tax returns. Second, Congress needs to make sure America does its part to alleviate the humanitarian nightmare caused by Trump’s unconscionable double crossing of the Kurds.

Congress should require Trump to take increased numbers of Kurdish refugees into the United States, and we should provide countries like Iraq with humanitarian aid to help deal with a new influx of refugees. As it pertains to sanctions against Turkey, Congress should be targeted and thoughtful. This means passing only those sanctions necessary to encourage the prospective behaviors we want Turkey to engage in. Sanctions to simply punish them for actions that the President of the United States invited them to take makes no strategic sense. Thus, our sanctions should seek to deter Turkey and Turkish-backed forces from committing war crimes or obstructing humanitarian relief. Sanctions should disincentivize the forced repatriation of Syrian refugees living in Turkey. And sanctions should punish Turkey for knowingly allowing ISIS to regroup.

Congress does have a responsibility to get the bottom of why Trump made this decision in a call that he took, not in the Oval Office, but in the private residence. Congress should demand to know why Trump sold-out US allies.

Trump’s tax returns would provide a great deal of insight into his potential financial relationships with all of the players in the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria. Trump has consistently made odd foreign policy decisions, and his tax returns might be the only way to connect the dots and understand what is Trump’s true motivations are.

Democrats are continuing the fight to get Trump’s tax returns.

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