The House Ways and Means Committee file a lawsuit Tuesday in order to get the President’s tax returns, marking the beginning of what is to be a long legal battle with the Trump administration.
Chairman Richard Neal’s committee filed a complaint against the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service in federal court in Washington, asking that the defendants comply with the panel’s subpoena and a section of the federal tax code.
President Donald Trump has sued to block Democrats from obtaining his tax returns, but this is the first time they have also gone to court in order to get their hands on Trump’s financial records, The Hill writes.
President Trump is the first sitting president to break with tradition and not release his tax return, citing a years-long audit. As a result, Democrats have made it one of their priorities to get documents detailing his personal finances.
Neal sent a request to the IRS in April asking for the President’s personal and business tax returns for a 6-year period, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected the request in May on grounds of it lacking legislative purpose. The chairman also issued subpoenas to Mnuchin and IRS, but both were likewise rejected.
“Due to that noncompliance, the Committee is now pursuing this matter in the federal courts,” Neal said in a statement.
His committee’s complaint asks the judge to declare that Treasury and the IRS are legally obligated to produce the documents subpoenaed, as well as that the administration has violated the Administrative Procedure Act by not complying with section 6103(f).
“In refusing to comply with the statute, Defendants have mounted an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the IRS, and the tax laws on behalf of the American people who participate in the nation’s voluntary tax system,” the lawsuit says.
The Trump administration will most likely fight the lawsuit.