Top House Democrat steps up demand for Trump's tax returns

Top House Democrat steps up demand for Trump's tax returns

Top House Democrat steps up demand for Trump's tax returns

After a week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin - rather than Rettig - told Neal that the returns weren't yet available, as "t$3 he committee's request raises serious issues concerning the constitutional scope of Congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the asserted legislative goal, and the constitutional rights of American citizens".

Trump has broken with decades of precedent by not voluntarily releasing his returns to the public during the 2016 presidential election. "But for lawmakers, there's no real effective remedy except to say bad things about them or not take their phone calls", said Christopher Rizek, a former Treasury official who is now a tax litigator at law firm Caplin & Drysdale.

The fight over access to Trump's tax returns is expected to be a long legal battle.

"Even if Ways and Means had a legitimate committee goal for requesting the President's tax returns and return information, that objective is not driving Chairman Neal's request", he wrote. "The Committee's request raises serious issues concerning the constitutional scope of Congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the asserted legislative goal, and the constitutional rights of American citizens", Mnuchin said-as if the Trump administration really cares about the constitutional rights of American citizens not named Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump's lawyer in the matter, Will Consovoy, also asked the IRS not to hand over the president's tax returns until it receives a legal opinion from the Justice Department. Mnuchin used similar language in a letter to Neal this week. He is visiting Midwest states Trump narrowly won and Sanders says "Together, we are going to make sure that does not happen again".

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Calling Neal's new deadline an "arbitrary" date, Mnuchin said the Democrats' request could set "enormous precedent in potentially weaponizing the IRS".

Congressional Republicans have condemned Neal's request as a political fishing expedition by Democrats, while the White House has said the documents will "never" be turned over.

"Concerns about what the Committee may do with the tax returns and return information are baseless".

"Please know that, if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request", Neal wrote. "They want the IRS audits from 2014, but how does that have to do with Donald Trump?" he questioned. If the U.S. Treasury Department denies requests from Congress for the president's federal tax returns, they would at least have a chance of getting his state returns.

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