Presidents are required by the U.S. Constitution to get the “advice and consent” of the Senate on key positions like IRS commissioner.
But Trump just announced he will use a massive loophole to do an end-run around the Senate and unilaterally install a loyalist as head of the IRS on November 13.1
Maybe because hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer – who spent more than $20 million getting Trump and other Republicans elected in 2016 and co-owns Breitbart News – owes the IRS up to $7 billion in back taxes.2
Robert Mercer getting an IRS commissioner who makes his tax problems go away would be the heist of the century. And the victim would be ordinary taxpayers.
Sign the petition to the Senate: Don’t let Trump unilaterally install a loyalist as acting IRS commissioner.
Robert Mercer is a name every American should know. The New Yorker branded him “the reclusive hedge-fund tycoon behind the Trump presidency.”
He’s one of the biggest megadonors in politics, with $22.5 million in disclosed political spending in the 2016 election helping Trump and other Republicans get elected.3 But that’s not all.
His family owns Cambridge Analytica, the shady political data firm that ran the Trump campaign’s micro-targeting and is making headlines for having reached out to WikiLeaks to try to find and leak Hillary Clinton’s emails.4 And the Mercers are one of 3 owners of Breitbart News, the Steve Bannon-linked outlet notorious for spewing white nationalism.5
Trump announced he will install David Kautter to lead the IRS – who’s been linked to billions in tax avoidance at Ernst & Young.6
Without the ability for the Senate to question or scrutinize Kautter before he starts running the IRS, there is no way he should be trusted to run the agency.
Tell the Senate: No $7 billion payback to Trump's billionaire political donor Robert Mercer! Block Trump from installing a loyalist as acting IRS commissioner.
Along with trampling over long-standing political norms like freedom of the press, Trump has begun abusing his power to name “temporary” employees to install cronies inside the government without review by the Senate.
Trump’s famously unqualified cabinet could hardly scrape by Senate confirmation. Now, he’s single-handedly installed acting heads of departments to cut the Senate out entirely from its confirmation role required by the Constitution.7
An unaccountable loyalist running the IRS wouldn’t just be able to give a massive payback to a big Trump donor on the backs of ordinary taxpayers. They could also:
- Interfere with the agency’s role in special counsel Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference, and
- Create a huge conflict of interest overseeing the IRS’s audits of Trump’s own tax returns
We’re demanding that senators step up to stop Trump from unilaterally installing a loyalist as acting IRS commissioner. Sign the petition to join us.
1. Bloomberg, “Trump Prepares to Pick His Own Auditor at the IRS,” Sept. 28, 2017.
2. McClatchy, “Billionaire Robert Mercer did Trump a huge favor. Will he get a payback?,” May 1, 2017.
3. New Yorker, "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency," Mar. 27, 2017.
4. Daily Beast, "Trump Data Guru: I Tried to Team Up With Julian Assange," Oct. 25, 2017.
5. USA Today, "CEO confirms Mercers, top GOP donors, are part owners of Breitbart," Feb. 24, 2017.
6. Quarz, "The US just can’t stop putting tax policy in the hands of tax-avoidance experts," July 20, 2017.
7. Bloomberg, "Trump Bank Regulator Faces Inquiry Into Legality of Job Status," Oct. 19, 2017.