House Democrats formally demand Trump's tax returns from IRS

President Donald Trump said he won't release any tax returns until he is no longer under audit

Abandoning his threat to immediately seal the southern border, President Donald Trump warned instead on Thursday that he'd slap tariffs on cars coming to the USA from Mexico unless the country does more to stop the flow of migrants and drugs coming to the U.S.

On Wednesday, Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) official requested the returns, ABC News reports.

Neal, the only Democrat on Capitol Hill with the power to take such action, is using a little-known IRS code in requesting six years of Trump's personal returns and also wants records from eight of the President's business entities. He asked for the documents in seven days, setting an April 10 deadline.

Kildee said on CNN's "New Day" that Trump has promised to provide his tax returns, but now he is "completely oblique when it comes to his personal interests".

More broadly, Neal's request shows how Democrats are turning up the heat on their oversight probes of the President since Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr last month.

Trump has been increasingly exasperated at his inability to halt the swelling number of migrants entering the US, including thousands who have being released after arriving because border officials have no space for them.

"No party in any Congress should have the authority to rummage around in your tax returns purely for political reasons, and if they can do that to the president what stops them from doing that to any political enemy?"

In recent months, the number of families crossing into the US has climbed to record highs, pushing the system to what administration officials say is a breaking point.

"Weaponizing our nation's tax code by targeting political foes sets a risky precedent and weakens Americans' privacy rights", Mr. Brady told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a letter. "As you know, all Americans have a fundamental right to the privacy of the personal information found in their tax returns".

"I hope it's just a sign of this first quarter outrage and that we'll quickly move past that and get into the things the Ways and Means Committee needs to be working on like trade, like tax policies, like healthcare", he said.

The legal battle set to ensue could take years to resolve, possibly stretching beyond the 2020 presidential election.

President Donald Trump broke with four decades of tradition when he refused to release his income tax returns.

But Trump continued to make the claim on Wednesday.

Neal argues that Congress, and his committee in particular, need to conduct oversight of the IRS, including its policy of auditing the tax returns of sitting presidents.

The fight to obtain the president's tax returns heats up, with Democrats formally requesting those documents.

Neal is one of only three congressional officials authorized under to make a written request to the Treasury secretary for anyone's tax returns. The IRS is a division of the Treasury Department.

During that committee hearing where Mr Mnuchin testified, he signalled to the committee that he has not handled other 6103 requests in the past.

Mr. Neal said he won't instruct his fellow Ways and Means members to reveal their own taxes, saying that's their decision.

"We have Democratic candidates that are running for president that haven't released their individual income taxes - why should he?" said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a Republican.

Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democratic member of the Ways and Means committee, stressed he expects the IRS commissioner to follow the law and fulfil the chairman's request.

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