House chairman issues subpoenas for Trump's tax returns

A sign announces the closing of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City N.J

(PA) Some on the committee like Rep Lloyd Doggett, a liberal Democrat from Texas, have argued that if they were in Mr Neal's position, they would hold Mr Mnuchin in contempt of Congress if he refuses to hand over the tax returns, a step that is unlikely to happen with Mr Neal at the helm of the committee. The law allows the chairmen of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees and the Joint Committee on Taxation to request the tax returns of any taxpayer and that the Treasury secretary "shall" provide them. The Committee must specify any reasons.

The order demands those returns by next Friday after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refused an earlier request. After consultations with the Ministry of justice he is not entitled, therefore, to the tax returns.

White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in an interview with Fox News that this demand was a stunt and vowed that Congressional Democrats would never see Trump's tax records.

The Treasury Department and the I.R.S. did not immediately comment on the subpoenas.

"I won the 2016 Election partially based on no Tax Returns while I am under audit (which I still am)", Trump tweeted this afternoon, "and the voters didn't care". Usually publish United States presidential candidates tax returns during the election campaign.

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Representative Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, has staunchly opposed Neal's efforts to obtain the tax returns. Mr. Mnuchin had rejected a request for the returns made under a little-known provision of the federal tax code that dates back to the Teapot Dome scandal of Warren G. Harding's administration almost a century ago.

With so-called Subpoenas of Congress, can load under threat of prosecution witnesses or documents to request.

It seems likely that Mnuchin and Rettig will make the same argument again.

The courts would then have to answer an important question: Are the interests of the government in an effective tax system and that of citizens in maintaining the confidentiality of their financial information outweighed by the First Amendment right of the press, and by and the public's interest in obtaining financial information on elected officials? A procedure could take years and possibly even before the Supreme Court land. Plate Trumps government team ever since, with requests for documents or hearings. But others are so certain that the returns will reveal corrupt and perhaps criminal misconduct that any means of securing them - including impeachment proceedings that would supply a clear legislative goal for the demands - are justified.

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