Dem Chair Gives IRS New Deadline For Trump’s Taxes, Dismisses Legal Concerns

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

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) on Saturday wrote to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig with a new deadline to provide President Donald Trump’s tax returns to the committee.

Neal first wrote to Rettig on April 3 with a narrowly tailored request for seveal years-worth of returns for both Trump and a number of his businesses, giving the IRS a week to respond.

After a week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — rather than Rettig — told Neal that the returns weren’t yet available, as “[t]he committee’s request raises serious issues concerning the constitutional scope of Congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the asserted legislative purpose, and the constitutional rights of American citizens.”

Neal’s Saturday letter — addressed to Rettig, not Mnuchin — dismissed those concerns and set a new deadline of April 23 at 5 p.m.

“To date, the IRS has failed to provide the requested return and return information despite an unambiguous legal obligation to do so under section 6103(f),” the chairman wrote, referring to the section of the Internal Revenue Code that states the IRS “shall” provide the House Ways and Means Committee with requested returns “[u]pon written request.”

Neal noted Saturday that the law “raises no complicated legal issues that warrant supervision or review by the Department of the Treasury […] or the Department of Justice.”

In his letter to Neal, Mnuchin cited an ongoing review of the chairman’s request by both departments. Before the IRS failed to meet it’s deadline to provide the returns, Rettig was tight-lipped during congressional testimony regarding whether he or Mnuchin had the ultimate authority to provide the returns.

Read Neal’s Saturday letter, obtained by CNN, below:

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