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Dem Chair Gives IRS New Deadline For Trump's Taxes, Dismisses Legal Concerns

14 April 2019
Dem Chair Gives IRS New Deadline For Trump's Taxes, Dismisses Legal Concerns

In a two-page letter, Neal writes that he believes his committee is well within its rights to see the President's tax returns and that he expects a decision from the IRS within the next 10 days.

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 objective, and the constitutional rights of American citizens".

"I am aware that concerns have been raised regarding my request, and the authority of the committee", he wrote in the letter.

Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal sent the IRS a request for Trump tax information on April 3, citing a portion of the IRS Code giving certain committees authority to access "any return or return information".

Trump has repeatedly claimed to be unable to release his tax returns because he is under audit.

On Monday, lawmakers in NY proposed a bill that would allow the commissioner of the state's Department of Taxation and Finance to turn over state tax returns if requested by certain congressional committees. "That really doesn't pass the laugh test in the current political climate when we know the president may have something to hide from the American people".

He could not say whether the Treasury, which oversees the IRS, would complete its review of Neal's request by April 23.

Trump appears prepared to fight this to the Supreme Court. If Rettig fails to do so, Neal said he will interpret as denying the request, which could pave the way for a court battle.

Neal also wrote that concerns about the committee's access to the returns were "baseless". "Lo and behold, we have Donald Trump's tax returns here in the state of NY and we can provide them to Congress if the IRS, if the Treasury Department won't".

Republicans have called the request as an overreach of confidential taxpayer data.

At congressional hearings, Mnuchin accused lawmakers of seeking Trump's returns for political reasons. But in recent weeks, he has added to the argument, saying publicly and privately that the American people elected him without seeing his taxes and would do so again.

The Democratic-led Illinois Senate voted 36-19 in favor of a bill allowing the state to block President Trump from the 2020 ballot if he does not release five years of his tax returns.