Democrats: force release of trump tax returns

Democrats: force release of trump tax returns

Democrats in the u.S. House of representatives want to force treasury secretary steven mnuchin to release president donald trump’s tax returns.

The chairman of the finance and tax committee, richard neal, demanded mnuchin on friday (local time) under threat of punishment to personally deliver within a week the tax returns of trump and several of his companies from the past six years. A corresponding subpoena went at the same time to the head of the tax authority IRS, charles rettig. Mnuchin had informed neal on tuesday that he refused to release the tax returns. Trump reacted angrily to democrats’ push on saturday.

Neal argues, citing a law, that the treasury department is required to release tax returns at the request of the committee chairman. The committee does not have to give a reason for this. Mnuchins had told neal in last tuesday’s letter that the committee’s request for the tax records lacked "legitimate legislative intent". After consultations with the ministry of justice, he was therefore not authorized to release the tax returns.

Democrats in the house of representatives had formally requested tax returns from trump and several of his companies for the 2013 to 2018 tax years in early april. The white house rejected the demand immediately afterward. Trump has never released his tax returns – fueling suspicions among his critics that he has something to hide. U.S. Presidential candidates usually release their tax returns while campaigning.

The finance and tax committee had twice set deadlines for the release of the republican president’s tax returns. Mnuchin had each asked for more time to consider the request, and ultimately denied it on tuesday.

With so-called subpoenas, congress can summon witnesses or request documents under penalty of law. Trump has indicated he will fight all subpoenas. Even now, it is considered unlikely that mnuchin or rettig will comply with the request, even if it is punitive. If they continue to refuse, they could be charged with contempt of congress. Then congress could go to court. But a trial could take years and possibly even end up in the supreme court.

Trump wrote on twitter on saturday that he won the 2016 presidential election without releasing his tax returns because there were ongoing tax audits, which, by the way, are still going on now. "The voters didn’t care," he stressed. The democrats nevertheless wanted to start again with this topic. "Makes it the subject of the 2020 election!", trump wrote with an eye on next year’s upcoming presidential election. He then wants to run for another term.

Democrats have had a majority in the house of representatives since january. They’ve been hounding trump’s administration team with requests for documents or hearings ever since. The senate – the other chamber in congress – continues to be dominated by trump’s republicans.

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