Mnuchin postpones decision on handing over Trump tax returns

Posted April 14, 2019

A top House Democrat is ratcheting up his demand for access to President Donald Trump's tax returns, telling the IRS that the law clearly gives Congress a right to them.

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.

Neal argued in this second letter that the law granting him the authority to request tax documents is "Unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues that warrant supervision or review by" the Justice or Treasury Departments.

The letter leans heavily into the committee's legal rational for the returns and Neal writes that, "I am aware that concerns have been raised regarding my request, and the authority of the committee".

A new letter by Rep. Richard Neal, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, comes after the Trump administration asked for more time to consider his initial request last week.

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

"If you want to run for vice president or president of the United States, hey, what's wrong with providing your tax returns for the past five years?"

Hoylman, who represents a Manhattan district, introduced legislation that would allow the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to send Congress state tax returns requested by three Congressional committees for a "specific and legitimate legislative objective". "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".

But the IRS has said that he could release the returns even if they are under audit.

Constitutionally, Neal has the power to demand the IRS release tax returns for any USA individual. If Rettig fails to do so, Neal said he will interpret as denying the request, which could pave the way for a court battle.

Trump appears prepared to fight this to the Supreme Court.

He said Mr. Trump's tax returns in NY will have some of the same information found in the president's federal tax returns. Neal also could seek the returns through a subpoena.

Trump's personal attorney, William Consovoy, has called the request a "gross abuse of power". Mulvaney has tried to frame the issue of the president's taxes as old news, saying it was "already litigated during the election" and the American people "elected him anyway".