Top House Democrat steps up demand for Trump's tax returns

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Donald Trump will have to release five years of tax returns if he wants appear on the IL 2020 presidential ballot, the state's senate has ruled.

Trump's treasury chief, who oversees the IRS, cited "complicated legal issues" and bemoaned "an arbitrary deadline" set by Congress, while saying he would answer in that time frame.

Mnuchin, as head of the Treasury, would become a sitting target for criminal charges if he does not comply with demands for Trump's tax returns by the deadline, according to The Daily Beast. The bill would also require other presidential candidates to show their last five years of tax returns in order to run. I don't think these are simple issues.

Trump had told reporters before Mnuchin sent the letter that he "would love to give" the returns, but would not do so while he was under audit, a stand he long has taken. "Those concerns lack merit", Neal said in his letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

Democrats argue that IRS code 6103 allows Neal to ask for anyone's personal tax information for committee use, and that such requests are made routinely and handled through the IRS instead of the treasury secretary. No federal statute bars individuals under audit from releasing their tax returns.

"I'm sure we'll respond by that deadline, not going to make a commitment prematurely whether we'll be able to conclude a legal review by that deadline", Mnuchin said.

"They want to investigate how the IRS audits presidents, but some of the info they requested has nothing to do with that".

Trump appears prepared to fight this to the Supreme Court.

"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", continued Neal.

If Rettig fails to respond, Neal says that'll be interpreted as denying the request, which could pave the way for a court battle. Neal's request for the returns of a sitting president is unprecedented, and legal experts say its success or failure may depend on a court ruling about the committee's legislative goal for seeking the documents.

Mulvaney asserted that since voters knew ahead of the 2016 election that Trump would not reveal his returns and then elected him anyway, the matter was "already litigated".

"The legal implications of this request could affect protections for all Americans against politically-motivated disclosures of personal tax information, regardless of which party is in power", wrote Mnuchin in his explanation for why the April 10 deadline could not be met.

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