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

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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.

 

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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