Under significant pressure from progressive advocacy groups, Democratic Rep. Richard Neal on Wednesday formally requested President Donald Trump's tax returns-setting the stage for what many expect to be a lengthy legal battle.
Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who is leading a campaign to impeach Trump, has been pressuring Neal to request the president's tax returns.
The Times' Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Fandos report that "the request by Mr. Trump, made to Mr. McConnell on February 5", to prioritize the confirmation of the IRS Chief Counsel, "raised questions about whether the president had other motivations", for pushing to get his nominee confirmed. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday morning that the White House "is not interested in playing a bunch of political games like the Democrats in Congress clearly want to spend their time doing". "We're not engaging in that and the president commented on it yesterday, I don't see any indication that has changed".
Democrats have also justified an effort to open Trump's returns as a way to examine how much he and his businesses - from which he is not fully divested - benefited from the massive GOP tax reform law.
The bank responded that it needs a subpoena from the Democrats to comply with the request.
It was not clear how likely the Justice Department would be to hand over subpoenaed documents.More news: Robert Mueller investigators frustrated by attorney general’s Russian Federation probe summary
He has constantly refused requests to do so, claiming the returns are under "audit".
A possible closure of the Mexico-U.S. border to stop the flow of migrants as suggested by U.S. President Donald Trump would benefit neither Mexico nor the United States, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday. "If somebody wanted to add a requirement to have tax returns be part of that, let them go through the legislative process".
"He says he's in the middle of an audit, and his CPAs say, 'Don't turn it over.' And I take him at his word, and I respect that".
Trump backed off days of Twitter comments saying he was about to close the border after White House economic advisers and Republican lawmakers warned him that closing the border would significantly affect the USA economy, the world's largest.
"Under the internal Revenue Manual, individual income tax returns of a President are subject to mandatory examination, but this practice is IRS policy and not codified in the Federal tax laws", Neal wrote.
"We will protect the president as we would protect any individual taxpayer under their rights", Mnuchin said. Nadler told reporters he would also seek a judge's permission to get access to Mueller's grand jury material, which is protected under federal law.
Neal said the legal strategy was devised by House counsel and the Ways and Means Committee's tax staff.
Democrats on the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees will be keen to comb those returns as they dig into the president's personal finances and ties to foreign government and entities for their own, separate wide-ranging investigations.