IL bill proposes Trump showing tax returns to appear on 2020 ballot

Leslie Hanson
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.

Neal asked the IRS last Wednesday to turn over six years of Trump's tax returns within a week.

"It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury, or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the Committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns or return information", Neal wrote.

"To date, the IRS has failed to provide the requested return and return information despite an unambiguous legal obligation to do so under section 6103 (f)", the chairman wrote, referring to the section of the Internal Revenue Code that states the IRS "shall" provide the House Ways and Means Committee with requested returns "u$3 pon written request". "Moreover, judicial precedent commands that none of the concerns raised can legitimately be used to deny the committee's request".

Mnuchin said that Treasury Department lawyers have been working "diligently" to research the issues involved and have been in contact with Justice Department attorneys.

The president has told those close to him that the attempt to get his returns were an invasion of his privacy and a further example of the Democratic-led "witch hunt" - which he has called special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation - meant to damage him.

He also claimed that concerns about what Ways and Means members might do with the requested returns are "baseless", and that "IRS, Treasury, and Justice must assume that the Committee Members, like all government officials, will act properly in the conduct of their official duties". There is no prohibition on releasing returns to Congress or the public while under audit. "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. 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".

At congressional hearings, Mnuchin accused lawmakers of seeking Trump's returns for political reasons.

Republicans have dismissed Neal's request as unprecedented and political.

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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