It’s Official: Democrats Demand Trump’s Tax Returns. He Has One Week.

Rep. Richard Neal hand delivered his request to the Internal Revenue Service.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

In a letter to the Internal Revenue Service, Chairman Richard E. Neal of the House Ways and Means Committee has officially requested Trump’s business and personal tax returns from the past six years.

The committee has asked that the president complies with their request by April 10. 

 

Neal reportedly hand-delivered his two-page letter addressed to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig. 

Trump was the first presidential candidate since Gerald Ford to refuse to release his tax returns But according to a tax historian who spoke to Mother Jones last year, Congress has always had the option to request them. “They can’t do it because they want to show it off at a cocktail party, but as long as there is a legitimate need for them—something consistent with Congress’ prerogatives and responsibilities, yes, they can request them, and Treasury is supposed to supply them,” said Joseph Thorndike.

House Democrats also attempted to pass a bill last month that would have required the president and vice president, along with all future candidates for those offices, to disclose 10 years of business tax returns.

Mother Jones previously reported that the committee was weighing the option to compel the president to release his returns last year:

Neal reportedly has not decided whether his committee’s request will include the tax returns from Trump’s business interests or just his personal returns. But when Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer, testified before the House oversight committee last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) helped lay the groundwork for demanding the business returns, asking Cohen whether it would be useful “for the committee to obtain federal and state tax returns from the president and his company” in order to investigate a New York Times report that Trump had participated in fraudulent tax schemes. Cohen said he believed the returns would indeed help the committee.

 

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.