Trump misses Democrat deadline for releasing tax return
Apr 13, 2019, 00:35
He said Treasury respects lawmakers' oversight duties and would make sure taxpayer protections would be "scrupulously observed, consistent with my statutory responsibilities" as the department reviews the request.
Trump's allies have come out in full force to protect the president as Democrats launch multiple investigations looking into the president.
Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee huddled Tuesday afternoon to discuss potential next moves and to talk about other issues before their committee.
"I would love to give them, but I'm not going to do it while I'm under audit", Trump said. "The department has decided not to allow the IRS to comply with my request by the April 10 deadline", Neal said.
Before traveling to Texas on Wednesday, Trump reiterated that he won't be releasing his tax returns while he is now under audit.
The IRS statute, known as 6103, says three people on Capitol Hill - the Senate Finance Committee chairman, the head of the Joint Committee on Taxation and the chairman of House Ways and Means Committee - can ask for any individual's tax information for legislative purposes and the secretary of the treasury "shall furnish" the request.
Trump argues that he can not release his tax returns because they are being audited but the IRS said this is no impediment to their release.
Trump broke with 40 years of presidential campaign tradition by declining to release his personal returns before the 2016 election. But in recent weeks, he has added to the argument, saying publicly and privately that the American people elected him once without seeing his taxes and would do so again.
"I won't do it", Trump said. He argued that the department never asked for permission from the White House regarding the president's tax returns. House Democrats are at a party retreat in the Virginia suburbs of Washington.
"We're working on a response with counsel and we will respond", Rettig said.
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The powers given the tax-writing committee chairmen stem from a 1924 law that had its origin in conflict of interest and bribery allegations against administration figures and those the administration did business with at the time.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has remained resolute in his approach to being asked about his tax returns, always citing the IRS audit. 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. "There is no law, as you know, I got elected last time with the same issue and while I'm under audit, I won't do it".
"We've pretty much agreed on an enforcement mechanism, we've agreed that both sides will establish enforcement offices that will deal with the ongoing matters", Mnuchin said, adding that there were still important issues for the countries to address.
Democratic Rep. Nydia Velázquez of NY shot back, "And the law says - upon a written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate or the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the secretary shall furnish".
Mnuchin told lawmakers on Tuesday that the department had been in touch with White House lawyers before Neal made his request but had not personally been fully briefed on those discussions. The Massachusetts Democrat also requested tax documents from eight Trump business entities.
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