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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressional tax oversight committee will not seek U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns, despite calls from Democrats for a review to determine possible business ties to foreign countries including Russia, the panel’s Republican chairman said on Monday.

“If Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?” House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady told reporters.

“Privacy and civil liberties are still important rights in this country, and (the) Ways and Means Committee is not going to start to weaken them.”

The Texas Republican was responding to questions about a February 1 request from Representative Bill Pascrell, who asked him to obtain Trump’s returns from Treasury so the committee could review them in closed session and vote on whether to release them to the public.

Defying decades of precedent, Trump has long refused to release the documents, which Democrats say could show whether his sprawling business empire poses any conflicts of interest as he moves forward with initiatives on issues ranging from tax reform to foreign relations.

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Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg during an interview at his office in Lake Mary, Florida

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

ORLANDO, Fla. – Joel Greenberg, Seminole County’s disgraced former tax collector, has agreed to plead guilty to six federal crimes — including sex trafficking of a child — in a deal that calls for him to cooperate with federal investigators, according to a source with knowledge of the agreement. The deal, which will be made official during a Monday morning court hearing Greenberg is required to attend, marks a turning point in the sprawling federal investigation that has roiled Florida politics and reportedly taken aim at Greenberg’s friend and ally U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz. In addition to traffic...

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