Democrats set new deadline on Trump tax returns

U.S. Treasury postpones decision on handing over Donald Trump's tax returns

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., on Saturday sent a two-page letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig rebuffing Mnuchin's statement earlier this week that Treasury would miss House Democrats' initial April 10 deadline for the returns.

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

"Remember, I got elected last time - the same exact issue", Trump said.

The White House did not respond to questions as to whether the president asked Mnuchin or the IRS head to intervene.

"As the letter hints, Congress has broad powers and they're acting for proper purposes and usually the mental thoughts of the legislature don't negate the validity of the inquiry, but the question here is, are they in fact pursing a legitimate goal?" he said in an interview with Law&Crime.

Constitutionally, Neal has the power to demand the IRS release tax returns for any United States individual.

A lawyer for Trump said in a letter last week that the efforts are an attempt to harass a political opponent and that it would set a "dangerous precedent" for the agency to turn them over. "Frankly, the people don't care".

The House Democrats' asked that the returns be turned over to the members of Congress.

Democrats didn't expect the department to comply, but they haven't sketched out their next steps.

At congressional hearings, Mnuchin accused lawmakers of seeking Trump's returns for political reasons. He has the option of eventually seeking to subpoena the records or to go to court if Treasury does not comply, but it's not clear he'll adopt a more confrontational approach just yet. "If you've got nothing to hide, you shouldn't worry about anything, That's how I see it", said state Sen.

Federal law gives the chairmen of House Ways and Means, Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation the power to request the returns of any taxpayer, although some legal scholars believe the request needs a legitimate legislative objective, which Democrats say they have met.

Illinois Democrats approved a bill that would require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns if they want their names to appear on the state's ballot.

Mr Trump himself has claimed that he can not release his tax returns because they are under audit, although technically there is nothing preventing him from doing so.

Mnuchin told lawmakers that his department will "follow the law", but he hasn't shared the department's interpretation of the statute. The president's outside attorney also did not respond to a request for comment.



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