House committee chair has authority to demand release
White House has said tax information will not be shared
Donald Trump’s tax returns must be handed to House Democrats by 23 April, a leading committee chair said on Saturday.
Democrats initially set a 10 April deadline for the returns but this week treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said he needed more time to assess issues raised by the request.
On Saturday the chairman of the House ways and means committee, Richard Neal of Massachusetts, wrote to Internal Revenue Service commissioner Charles Rettig to say a failure to comply with the new deadline would be “interpreted as a denial of my request”.
Constitutionally, Neal has the power to demand the IRS release tax returns for any US individual. He has asked for six years of the president’s personal and business returns.
In his letter, he wrote that his power to make the demand “is unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues”.
Trump was at his golf course in Virginia on Saturday but the White House has already said it will refuse to release such information for a president who as a candidate broke with convention but not law by refusing to make his tax returns public.
Last week, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday Democrats would “never” see Trump’s tax returns. Claiming the request was purely political, Mulvaney added: “That is not going to happen and they know it.”