House committee sends new letter to IRS demanding Trump’s tax returns
Apr 14 2019
The Internal Revenue Service missed the April 10 deadline to provide the House Ways and Means Committee with six years of President Donald Trump's personal and business tax filings, but the committee's Democratic leadership has given the IRS a little more time to comply, calling the agency's concerns about the request meritless.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is busy trying to keep his tax returns from Congress. Neal is relying on a 1920s-era law that says the IRS "shall furnish" any tax return requested by the chairmen of key House and Senate committees. Neal asked for Trump's personal and business returns from 2013-18. If Rettig fails to do so, Neal said he will interpret as denying the request, which could pave the way for a court battle.
"Concerns about what the Committee may do with the tax returns and return information are baseless".
"They want to investigate how the IRS audits presidents, but some of the info they requested has nothing to do with that". Bernie Sanders returns to the friendly terrain of Wisconsin on Friday to kick off a swing through pivotal states that are part of the Democratic "blue wall" strategy for 2020.
US federal law clearly details that when the chairman of the US House Ways and Means Committee provides a request in writing for any US citizen's tax returns - even a sitting US president - the US Treasury, now headed by Trump appointee Steve Mnuchin, "shall furnish" the documents.
The issue appears sure to end up in federal court.
But the IRS has said that he could release the returns even if they are under audit. Neal's request for the returns of a sitting president is unprecedented, and legal experts say its success or failure may depend on a court ruling about the committee's legislative goal for seeking the documents.
Mnuchin had told Neal this past week that he needs more time to consider the unprecedented demand for Trump's returns and needs to consult with the Justice Department about it. But he also acknowledged his "statutory responsibilities" and that he respects congressional oversight.
Neal reacted cautiously and is expected to have a fuller response later this week after consulting with House lawyers.
The administration has said it will refuse to release such information for Trump, who as a candidate broke with convention but not law by refusing to make his tax returns public. 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.
William Consovoy, whose firm was retained by Trump to represent him on the matter, has written the Treasury's general counsel and said the congressional request "would set a risky precedent" if granted and that the IRS can not legally divulge the information.