House Democrats Give Trump Government Deadline on April 23 to Return Trump's Tax Returns, Pushing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin skepticism about their request for private presidents' files.
Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) Chair of the House of Commons Committee on Ways and Means, sent a two-page letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig on Saturday accusing Mnuchin that the Department of Justice Treasury would miss the April 10 deadline.
Mnuchin's concerns "lack merit," writes Neal.
Neal's latest letter paves the way for a further escalation of the Congressional-White House conflict, with legal experts suggesting that a categorical refusal of their request by Mnuchin could be followed by a subpoena or a trial in a federal court. Mnuchin has so far only postponed the response to Democrats' demand and said he would meet with the Justice Department, but had not yet rejected it.
"Know that if you do not comply, your failure will be interpreted as a refusal of my request," says Neal's letter.
Earlier this month, Neal had written to the IRS asking for six years of personal and professional tax returns from the president. Trump had refused to publish decades of unprecedented precedent for White House candidates. In his letter, Neal claims that the IRS has an "unambiguous legal obligation" to file returns under Section 6103 of the Tax Code, which states that the Secretary of the Treasury "must provide" a asks Congressional committees with tax audit.
Congressional Republicans and Trump's personal attorney, William S. Consovoy, claimed that Democrats' demand was threatening to turn the IRS into a weapon for partisan political gains, with Consovoy calling it "an abuse of power." flagrant ". concerning the constitutional scope of the Congressional investigative power. "
In his testimony before Congress, Mnuchin revealed that White House lawyers had consulted Trump's income tax treasure.
"It's not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury or Justice to question or guess the motives of the committee," writes Neal in his letter. "Judicial precedents dictate that none of the concerns expressed can legitimately be used to reject the committee's request."
Neal's lawyers have carefully drafted their correspondence with the Treasury Department to improve their chances of winning a subsequent legal battle. Some legal experts have speculated that Neal may be trying to improve his case by waiting for an outright refusal before launching new threats.
"At some point, it's obvious that nothing will happen and then you have to take new measures," said George K. Yin, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee. on Taxation, in an interview earlier this week. "My penchant is that it is not yet."
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