The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal, is considering the best way to request that President Donald Trump’s tax returns be released as activists on the left are increasing pressure.
Democrats have been adamant that they would pursue the matter and are confident they have the legal power to request President Trump’s tax returns, but such a move, which has no precedent, would certainly have political risks. Trump is unlikely to hand over his tax returns without a legal fight even though IRS code 6103 gives Dems legal authority to obtain the records they want.
There are risks for Neal himself as requesting the President’s tax returns could very well be perceived within the administration as defiance and Neil as an adversary rather than a negotiating partner, CNN writes.
However, Neal has been under increased pressure to make the move, with groups like Tax March, Indivisible and Stand Up America even sending a draft letter for the House committee chairman to send to the Treasury Department.
The committee’s members say that the issue must be pursued with caution even though they are confident that the chairman will make the request.
“We are a little bit behind obviously. I am no less convinced that the chairman is committed to one of his top priorities and the committee’s top priority to inquire about the President’s taxes,” said Representative Bill Pascrell on Tuesday.
A person familiar with the planning said that the Oversight Subcommittee of Ways and Means will hold a hearing next week on the issue of presidential tax returns, which would come amid efforts to hold hearings on pieces of H.R. 1, a bill that requires presidential candidates to disclose 10 years of tax returns.
“I know that Chairman Neal is focused on this, but he wants to ensure whatever he does is done in a way that will be completely defensible and doesn’t create more of a circus atmosphere,” said Representative Dan Kildee. “We are in an unprecedented moment. We have a President who refused to follow precedent and custom and release his tax returns and there are a lot of questions about that.”