House Democrats begin hearings on obtaining Trump’s tax returns

Trump back to combative self after appeal for compromise

House Democrats take 1st step to obtain Trump's tax returns

A coalition of three liberal groups - Tax March, Indivisible, and Stand Up America - wrote to Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal, Democrat of MA, last month, publicly pushing him to "immediately" obtain Trump's tax returns, according to Roll Call.

But it soon became the first real skirmish between Trump's defenders in Congress and newly empowered Democrats since the House changed hands last month.

No. 2 House GOP leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana told reporters that "from the things that I'm hearing, this agreement could get a majority of both Republicans and Democrats in the House".

"I think Ways and Means should focus their time making sure of how strong this economy is today, of how we can make it stronger", said McCarthy, a California Republican.

Democrats say they want to see Trump's returns to be sure he's complying with tax laws, to examine his financial connections overseas, and find out to whom he owes money. And he broke with tradition when he took office without divesting from his businesses. A defiant Pelosi declared on Wednesday that House Democrats would not be cowed by President Donald Trump's "all-out threat" during his State of the Union address to drop their investigations of his administration, as fellow Democrats pushed ahead with a bevy of sensitive inquiries. Trump is being squeezed by Mueller's probe, by federal prosecutors in NY looking into his inaugural spending, and by other House probes into possible ties with Russians during the campaign. "They love to weaponize the IRS, aka Lois Lerner, and now going after the president's tax returns". But we believe this argument neglects an important reason that Mr. Trump's removal by his party would be at least as healthy, democratically speaking: It would reinvigorate the idea that political parties exist not just as vehicles for politicians but as protectors of vital democratic norms.

In tweets posted before his appearance at a national prayer breakfast, Trump singled out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who announced Wednesday that his panel would scrutinize "credible reports of money laundering and financial compromise" involving Trump's businesses as part of a fresh investigation into Trump's alleged ties with Russian Federation.

Ranking member Mike Kelly, R-Pa., said tax code rules that allow the committee to get the president's tax returns were also written to ensure the privacy of all Americans' returns.

Trump also lashed out at Schiff on Wednesday, calling him a "political hack".

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Mnuchin has said he would analyze any requests for Trump's tax returns and respond if required by law, and Democrats could end up challenging the administration in court if they refuse to release the documents.

I take this issue very seriously not only because I would have to vote on any action before the House of Representatives to disclose the president's tax returns, but also because the House Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, has jurisdiction over the IRS.

In January, Neal told CNN that he is "judiciously" pursuing Trump's tax returns. He said he believes a deal can be reached by Monday.

At the same time 3rd District Rep. Adrian Smith, a member of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, says he would have preferred the president "voluntarily release them to avoid our current situation".

Neal, who said he wants to remove emotion from the tax-return fight, has turned the issue over to oversight subcommittee Chairman John Lewis of Georgia.

The ensuing legal battle threatens to derail the rest of the Ways and Means Committee's other priorities, including prescription drug price reductions, overhauling retirement plans and rolling back portions of the GOP tax bill.

"Is he profiting from his position?" asked Steven M. Rosenthal, a witness at Thursday's hearing and a senior fellow at the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center, in a column previous year. "If I choose to run, I promise I will absolutely release my tax returns".

"People deserve to see the tax returns of anyone who is running for president", Schultz said while speaking at Purdue University in Indiana.

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