House Dems Formally Demand Trump's Tax Returns

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However, he said he questions the motives of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, who Wednesday requested the IRS submit Trump's tax returns from the past six years.

A top Democrat formally requested on Wednesday that the U.S. tax agency provide Congress with President Donald Trump's tax returns, setting up a likely legal battle with the White House.

"This is the latest effort from House Democrats in their misguided rush to impeach President Trump that began the day after the 2016 election", Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement.

"I am certain we are within our legitimate legislative, legal and oversight rights", Mr Neal said in his statement.

Trump broke with decades of tradition when he did not release his income tax returns as a candidate during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump quickly said he was not inclined to share his tax returns. "But I've been under audit for many years because the numbers are big and I guess when you have a name, you're audited", Trump said at a White House meeting with US military leaders.

In February, with Democrats freshly in control of the House of Representatives, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged patience in going after the tax returns.

Neal said the timing of his request had nothing to do with the completion of independent counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether Trump colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

Mr Neal gave the agency until April 10 to comply.

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Neal's committee initially planned to request only Trump's personal tax returns.

But it's apparent there's something he doesn't want people to know - and commentators have pointed out that the damage from revealing his tax returns must be worse than the political damage he suffers from not revealing them.

Neal's committee initially planned to request only Trump's personal tax returns.

Neal said issues that arise down the road regarding if and how the tax returns could be made public "would require transparency and votes".

While speaking to reporters Wednesday, House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings said Mazars USA will comply with the panel's request, but only if they can formalize the process through what Cummings called a "friendly subpoena".

"The Committee has a duty to examine whether Congressional action may be needed to require such audits, and to oversee that they are conducted properly".

He added that he does not believe the Treasury Secretary or the IRS has to provide Congress with his tax returns so long as he is under audit, as he now claims to be.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last month he would "follow the law" if Congress requested Trump's tax returns. But some Democrats and independent analysts pressed for them to include business returns to better gauge the president's activity in the private sector.

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