House Democrats Request Trump Tax Returns, Trump Signals Fight Ahead

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has made a significant move towards attaining Trump's tax returns, and President Trump has responded.
Donald Trump stands with Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (AP)

Donald Trump stands with Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (AP)

The moment many Democrats have been waiting for has finally arrived. Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) has formally requested six years of President Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Rep. Neal is using No. 6103 in the tax code. The New York Times reports:

The provision, which dates in some form to the Teapot Dome scandal of Warren G. Harding’s administration, at least on its face gives the Trump administration little room to decline a request like Mr. Neal’s. It only says that the Treasury secretary “shall” furnish the information.

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Rep. Neal gave the IRS until April 10th to comply. Secretary Steve Mnuchin has previously stated he would seek to protect President Trump if his tax returns were requested. When asked about Rep. Neal’s request, President Trump used his debunked audit excuse for not releasing his tax returns then said he’s “not inclined” to release them (the request was not to him personally). If the Trump administration denies the request, a long court battle is expected to ensue.

Until we see his taxes, we can only work from what we already know about Trump’s finances. After President Trump’s former Michael Cohen told the House Oversight Committee that Trump has misrepresented his assets to banks and insurance companies, several moves have been made. Attorney General Letitia James has already subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank related to loans the Trump Organization may have received by inflating assets. This came after the New York State Department of Financial Services subpoenaed a Trump Organization insurance broker probing similar fraud.

As we’ve mentioned on many occasions, there has already been some reporting on Donald Trump’s alleged history of tax fraud. In a bombshell report this past October, The New York Times reported that Donald Trump received, at least, the equivalent of $413 million from his father’s real estate empire. The Times alleged the Trump family used shady methods, including instances of “outright fraud”, to funnel money to one another. The Times obtained a trove of documents, including Fred Trump’s tax returns. This was the most extensive look into the Trump family’s finances yet, and it painted an incriminating picture of fraud and appeared to further prove that Donald Trump is not a self-made billionaire.

Trump’s six years of tax returns could also shed light on Trump’s foreign entanglements. Trump’s alleged history of money laundering for Russian Oligarchs has also drawn a lot of speculation.

Needless to say, keep an eye on this tax return fight.

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News // Donald Trump / IRS / Tax Returns