Sen. Bernie Sanders released his long-awaited tax returns Monday as he continued his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Monday is April 15, which means Tax Day for everyone but those in Massachusetts. Several presidential candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have released their returns and called on President Donald Trump to do the same.
Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont and a front-runner for the Democratic nomination, disclosed 10 years of tax returns on Tax Day after promising to do so for a month.
The senator's 2018 return reveals that he and his wife earned more than $550,000, including $133,000 from his Senate salary and $391,000 from sales of his book, "Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In." The previous year, they took in more than $1.3 million, mostly from book royalties and sales.
Asked about his economic status by the New York Times last week, Sanders said, "I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too."
Sanders owns a home in Burlington, and he bought a $575,000 lake home in North Hero in 2016.
The senator hopes the release of his tax returns will encourage President Trump to do the same, but based on the comments of National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, that's not happening.
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"The president is not releasing his tax forms today," Kudlow said. "It is under audit. He's submitted hundreds of pages. You know the arguments ... This administration has no intention to weaponize the IRS."
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, has followed up on his request for the president to release his tax returns by April 23.
All of this is expected to kick off a legal battle that will test the 1920s era tax statute that allows Congress to ask for anyone's personal tax returns — a battle that is expected to land in the courts.