On Tuesday, the White House has denied meeting a deadline to deliver President Donald Trump’s 6-years tax returns to Congress, escalating a battle that is likely to head to court.
Richard Neal, the Chairperson of House Ways and Means Committee, had offered the Internal Revenue Service until April 10 to turn over Trump’s personal tax returns, and those of several entities linked to the US President, from 2013 to 2018.
Earlier, the deadline was extended to April 23. But the US President had signaled that he doesn’t want to disclose the financial information, repeated his frequent used excuse during 2016 Presidential campaign, which he wouldn’t release his tax returns while audited by the IRS.
During 2016 Elections, Trump broke with a long-established norm by refusing to release the tax returns as most Presidents have done since the 1970s even its not needed by law.
The White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley informed the source that “the President is pretty clear: Once he’s out of the audit, he will think about doing it,” adding that “He’s not inclined to do so at this time.”
The US Treasury Department stated that it was reviewing the request of Neal and consulted with the Justice Department and there were “serious constitutional questions” related to the request.
In a letter to Neal, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the department would offer a final decision by May 6 and whether or not to comply.
However, Mnuchin had warned the Congressional Democrats, through the Means and Ways demand, were asking “to obtain and expose the President’s tax returns.”
Democrats have further warned the legal action, including subpoena of financial data, which could follow if Donald Trump’s administration does not comply, expecting a lengthy battle in the courts.
In asking for the tax returns, Democrats have referred to a little-known law that permits Congress to review anyone’s returns to conduct a probe.