House chairman asks IRS for 6 years of Trump's tax returns

06 April, 2019, 02:31 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Richard Neal

Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager and billionaire behind the "Need to Impeach" campaign, called on U.S. Rep. Richard Neal Tuesday to use his power as the House Ways and Means Committee chairman to immediately request President Donald Trump's tax returns.

In the letter Neal said he's looking to determine if the IRS's audits of the president have been conducted "fully and appropriately".

Neal himself, however, has not released his own tax returns when the press requested them.

"My actions reflect an abiding reverence for our democracy and our institutions, and are in no way based on emotion of the moment or partisanship", he said.

Asked about the Democrats' request on Wednesday, Trump said he is "under audit"-an excuse he has used for over three years-and "would not be inclined" to release his returns".

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) wrote a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, citing his authority pursuant to 26 U.S. Code § 6103 (f).

"We're under audit, despite what people said, and we're working that out as I'm always under audit it seems", President Trump explained. "But I think he has, at least if you take the President at his word, a legitimate reason for not turning them over, he says he's in the middle of an audit", he said. Trump, who has long said his unpredictability is one of his greatest negotiating assets, has also followed through with some of his most bombastic threats, including forcing the country's longest-ever government shutdown over border funding.

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"The Democrat agenda is still strictly focused on harassing the president and trying to make political statements, as opposed to trying to solve real problems", House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told reporters Thursday.

Mr Neal gave the agency until April 10 to comply.

He added it's within the "purview" of the chair of the Ways and Means Committee to request the tax returns, but said he thinks he has an "ulterior motive".

Democrats in the House of Representatives have demanded to see six years of President Trump's personal and business-related tax records, setting up a fierce battle with the White House.

But when Trump's legislative supporters in Congress said they had no intention of considering a new health care overhaul before the 2020 presidential election 19 months from now, the president changed his mind and said there would not be a health care vote until 2021, by which time he hopes to have won a second term in the White House.

The move is part of an effort by Democrats to look into Trump's business dealings as well as possible conflicts of interest.

The request includes returns for eight entities: Donald J Trump Revocable Trust, DJT Holdings LLC, DJT Holdings Managing Member LLC, DTTM Operations LLC, DTTM Operations Managing Member Corp, LFB Acquisition Member Corp, LFB Acquisition LLC and Trump National Golf Club. "The IRS and this Administration have no legal basis for refusing to comply with this request".

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