One-party control in the nation’s capital will come to an end next week as Democrats are forced to relinquish control of the House to Republicans, but that didn’t prevent Democrats and President Biden’s administration from offering last minute jabs during their final days in power .
Democrats from the House Ways and Means Committee released a partially redacted version of former President Trump’s tax returns Friday, completing a longtime objective of Democrats to make Trump’s finances public after the former president unsuccessfully tried to stop them in court.
“It’s all politics,” said Fox News contributor Mark Penn, a former advisor to President Clinton and Hillary Clinton. “These are final parting shots as the Democrats lose control of the committees and the power they had in the House. Who really cares about Donald Trump’s tax returns the day before New Years?”
The release of Trump’s tax documents wasn’t the only Democratic attempt to score political points before the GOP takes control of the House. The White House publicized a letter to Republicans on the Oversight Committee stating they wouldn’t respond to existing document requests, and political strategist from both sides of the aisle told Fox News Digital that it appears the Democratic Party may be trying to undermine the agenda and priorities of Republicans when the 118th Congress convenes for the first time on Tuesday.
DEMOCRATS RELEASE FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS
Erin Perrine, vice president of Tag Strategies and former communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz, said the moves from the Democratic Party are “mired in partisan pettiness” and do nothing to benefit the lives of Americans.
“The end of Democrats’ unified government in DC is mired in partisan pettiness. Instead of working to combat the inhumane Biden border crisis, fentanyl killing an entire generation of Americans, or securing economic prosperity for the future, Democrats are set to stonewall Republicans, release a private citizen’s tax returns, and blow an even bigger hole in our debt and deficit,” said Perrine, who formerly served as the national press secretary for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. “It really tells the American people all they need to know about Democrat priorities — cheap political points that do nothing to better the lives of working-class Americans.”
The Democrats’ recent actions prove that they “put America last” as they prioritize other policies, according to Marc Lotter, who served as press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence.
“The House majority proved on their way out the door what we’ve known since day one—they put America last,” Lotter said. “From passing a $1.7 trillion spending bill that secures the borders of Middle East countries, but not our own, to two years of reckless spending that created historic inflation, liberal leaders in the House divided our Nation and put America on a path toward a recession that could very well cost millions of people their homes, their retirement, and their jobs.”
Similarly, Colin Reed, a founding member of South & Hill Strategies who served as campaign manager for former Massachusetts GOP Sen. Scott Brown, said the Democrats are attempting to make the most of their final days in the House majority.
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“There’s a new sheriff coming to town, and House Democrats know they need to make hay while the sun is still shining. Before they turn over the gavels, they want to accomplish two things: inoculate the current president from upcoming oversight efforts involving Biden Inc. . and ensure the national conversations stays focused on the former president,” Reed said.
“Trump’s tax returns have long been a white whale for partisan Democrats,” he added. “Now that they finally achieved their goal, the American public will render the final verdict on their political worth and impact. Voters are looking for elected officials who can chart a course for the future, not an endless re-hashing of events from the past .”
White House Special Counsel Richard Sauber also sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer, R-Ky., on Thursday to say that the administration did not plan to respond to letters seeking information for potential House probes, telling the congressmen that they needed to resend those requests once they take over their committees in the next Congress.
Also in focus as Republicans prepare to take the reins in the House is the conclusion of the Jan. 6 Committee that relentlessly targeted Trump following the Capitol protests in early 2021.
Benjamin Weingarten, a Claremont Institute fellow, compared the release of Trump’s tax returns to the purpose of the January 6 Committee — which he calls a political gambit aimed at attacking opponents that “failed on the politics and the merits.”
“That House Democrats’ final act in the majority was to strike one last blow in their relentless war against Donald Trump — in the process running roughshod over the very norms and institutions they so claim to cherish — marks a fitting end to their progressive rule, and tells you all you need to know about their priorities and posture as they lose their grip on power,” he said.
“This was of a piece with the Soviet show trial-style January 6th Committee that recently reached its unceremonious conclusion, the primary purpose of which was never to unearth truth or hold people to account, but to politically persecute political foes declared guilty at the outset while the Biden Justice Department does the Democrats’ legal bidding in criminalizing its political opponents.”
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Kevin Seifert, who served as chief of staff to former House Speaker Paul Ryan, insists a great deal of the motive behind the recent decisions by Democrats has to do with President Biden’s “re-election prospects.”
“Democrats are ending this session of Congress as they started it — by advancing partisan priorities and ignoring any issue inconvenient to their political narrative,” Seifert said. “They want to gaslight Americans into believing there is no crisis on the Southern border. They want to deny the reality of a looming debt crisis, mind-trick people into believing our supply chain issues are fixed, and preemptively thwart any attempt at legitimate Congressional “oversight. Rather than find areas of bipartisan consensus, Democrats are instead prioritizing President Biden’s re-election prospects. This isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing.”
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In contrast, Kevin Walling, a Democratic political strategist who serves as vice president of HGCreative, insisted the actions by Democrats leading up to the start of a new Congress represent “the proper role of congressional oversight” as he claimed “the American people rejected extremism at the polls” in the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
“I believe that the actions of both the House Ways and Means Committee and January 6th Select Committee in the closing weeks of the year are more about accountability and the proper role of congressional oversight than any parting shots with GOP control on the horizon,” Walling said. “There is a fine line between genuine fact finding and what the public perceives as partisan oversight witch hunts that House Republicans will have to navigate in the new congress.”
Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo, Brianna Herlihy, and Patrick Ward contributed to this article.