Ways and Means stops dragging its feet and demands those tax returns!
I wrote about this for Salon just this morning and lookee here. (I get results!)
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has formally requested President Donald Trump's tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, likely launching a battle with the administration that could stretch months or even years in the courts and could shed light on the President's finances.
In a letter to the IRS sent Wednesday and first obtained by CNN, Neal cites a little known IRS code in his request for six years of Trump's personal tax returns from 2013 to 2018. He also requested the tax returns of eight of Trump's business entities, a nod to escalating pressure from liberals in the caucus who have argued that Trump's personal returns wouldn't sufficiently paint a picture of the President's financial history.
While the move will largely be seen by Republicans as a political escalation, Neal explained in the letter the request is part of his oversight role. Neal wrote that the committee needed Trump's tax returns to consider legislation related to the IRS's practice of auditing sitting presidents.
"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 in a letter to the IRS. "It is necessary for the committee to determine the scope of any such examination and whether it includes a review of underlying business activities required to be reported on the individual income tax return."
In a statement to CNN, Neal stressed that the committee's request was about "policy, not politics."
"My preparations were made on my own track and timeline, entirely independent of other activities in Congress and the administration," Neal said. "My actions reflect an abiding reverence for our democracy and our institutions, and are in no way based on emotion of the moment or partisanship. I trust that in this spirit, the IRS will comply with federal law and furnish me with the requested documents in a timely manner."
Neal has given the IRS until April 10 to comply with the request.
I'd look for a Trump tweet-tantrum of epic-proportions over this. he's going to explode like Mt Vesuvius.