President Trump responded with a dismissive taunt on Wednesday after a House committee chairman formally requested the IRS provide several years of his personal and business tax returns, in a move that prompted congressional Republicans to warn that Democrats had “weaponized” tax law.
Told by a reporter at the White House that Democrats wanted six years of his tax returns, Trump replied: “Is that all? Usually it’s 10. So I guess they’re giving up. We’re under audit, despite what people said, and we’re working that out — I’m always under audit, it seems, but I’ve been under audit for many years, because the numbers are big, and I guess when you have a name, you’re audited. But until such time as I’m not under audit, I would not be inclined to do that.”
The request Wednesday by Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, who heads the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, is the first such demand for a sitting president’s tax information in 45 years. The move sets up a virtually certain legal showdown with the White House.
Neal made the request in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, asking for Trump’s personal and business returns for 2013 through 2018. Neal told Rettig that Democrats have a duty “to ensure that the Internal Revenue Service is enforcing the laws in a fair and impartial manner.” . . .
The president’s congressional allies registered immediate and fierce disapproval. The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady, R-Texas, wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to decry what he called Democrats’ “abuse” of their authority. (Read more from “Trump Fires Back After High-Ranking House Democrat Asks IRS for 6 Years of President’s Tax Returns” HERE)