The House Democrat demanding Trump’s tax returns signaled on Friday that he would likely sue to get the information before filing contempt charges.
“I don’t see what good it would do at this particular time,” House Ways and Means chair Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) said during a CNN appearance, referring to the potential for holding Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in contempt of Congress.
Friday is the deadline for a subpoena Neal issued last week demanding six years of returns and other tax information for Trump himself and his businesses. The subpoena came after five weeks of letter-writing between Neal and the Treasury Secretary over the initial request, which Neal is empowered to make under a 1924 statute.
“I think that if both sides have made up their minds, better to move it over to the next branch of government, the judiciary,” Neal said on Friday
In testimony before the Senate on Wednesday, Mnuchin said that the courts should decide whether the returns can be released.
Mnuchin is required by law “to furnish” the returns of any filer upon request from the head of the House Ways and Means committee.
Citing an as-of-yet unreleased Justice Department opinion, Mnuchin has refused to hand over Trump’s returns. He has called the request a politically motivated fishing expedition.
At the same time, Trump personal attorney William Consovoy has sent threatening letters to the IRS, saying that he would sue the agency if it released the President’s returns.