Key Dem Tired Of Waiting On Ways And Means Chair To Get Trump Tax Returns

UNITED STATES - JULY 24: Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., speaks during the news conference on legislation for U.S. assistance to Ukraine on Thursday, July 24, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
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Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) is tired of waiting for the House Ways and Means Committee to request Trump’s tax returns, he said in a statement to TPM.

Pascrell said that “time is wasting” with regard to the request, and added that “the longer we wait, the longer the process could drag on — so we must move.”

Ways and Means chair Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) is the only Democrat in Congress empowered to request Trump’s tax returns, under a Roaring Twenties-era provision in the tax code that grants him the power to ask for the returns of any filer from the Treasury secretary.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is widely expected to refuse the request, setting the state for potential litigation. Neal’s staff argues that he needs to carefully craft a case to make the returns in advance of any lawsuit to ensure that the Democratic case is ironclad.

“[Neal] has promised me this request will happen and I believe him,” Pascrell said in the statement. “That being said, we’re now in spring and time is wasting. I have urged the committee to dedicate the appropriate time and resources that this effort requires.”

NBC reported on March 1 that Neal was preparing to ask for the returns, as liberal pressure groups and congressmen get increasingly antsy about the pace of the request.

“Americans deserve to know if their leader is compromised and if his decisions are colored by pecuniary interests,” Pascrell said in the statement. “Perusing Trump’s business and personal records will show Congress how far his conflicts go and the extent of any crimes.”

While Trump’s tax returns are likely to provide a roadmap for investigators, experts told TPM that they are unlikely to be a smoking gun.

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