Democrats set new deadline on Trump tax returns

14 April, 2019, 03:40 | Author: Carlos George
  • Mnuchin postpones decision on handing over Trump tax returns

Trump has told reporters Wednesday at the White House he would not release his tax returns while he is under audit. "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".

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.

Mr Trump has claimed previously that he could not to release his tax returns because they were being audited by the IRS.

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". The bill would also require other presidential candidates to show their last five years of tax returns in order to run.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (left) and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal (right; both seen on Saturday before a Congress meeting about Trump's 2020 budget proposal), are at loggerheads over whether Trump should release his tax returns.

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

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Neal argued the statute used in his request, Section 6103, was "unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues that warrant supervision or review" by either the Treasury Department or the Justice Department.

Democrats want Trump's tax returns as part of their investigations of possible conflicts of interest posed by his continued ownership of extensive business interests, even as he serves the public as president.

Mnuchin took issue with Neal's characterization of the dispute as a straightforward issue in light of the law governing the matter.

Republicans have called the request as an overreach of confidential taxpayer data. "People expect the rule of law to work smoothly, but that" s not always the case". "Please know that if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request". Neal also could seek the returns through a subpoena.

On Saturday, Neal said the administration has no right "to question or second guess" his motivations.

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