Treasury Misses Ways And Means’s Final Deadline To Produce Trump Taxes

UNITED STATES - APRIL 4: Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., talks with reporters in the Capitol before entering the office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Capitol on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group

The Trump Administration on Tuesday apparently missed a final 5 p.m. deadline from the House Ways and Means committee to hand over six years of the president’s personal and business tax returns — a move Congress said would be interpreted as a “denial” of their request.

The refusal sets the stage for Ways and Means chair Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) to subpoena the documents, igniting a potential court battle over accessing the information.

Neal first requested the returns on April 3 in a letter tailored to prevail in the case of an expected legal challenge.

Since then, the demand has devolved into a dance between House Democrats and the Trump Administration over who will respond to the request. If the Treasury continues to ignore Neal’s requests, the House is expected to sue to obtain the documents.

“To date, the IRS has failed to provide the requested return and return information despite an unambiguous legal obligation to do so,” Neal wrote in an April 13 letter setting the second deadline, issued after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stalled on replying to Neal’s first request.

Neal is seeking tax information for eight of Trump’s businesses and for Trump himself. The request goes beyond the president’s returns, and encompasses the IRS’ work materials surrounding its processing of Trump’s taxes.

Experts told TPM that the IRS work materials could prove to be the most valuable portion of the request, while the personal returns themselves are unlikely to contain any smoking guns.

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