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10 May, 2019 22:53

House Democrats issue new subpoena for Trump’s tax returns

House Democrats issue new subpoena for Trump’s tax returns

The US House Ways and Means Committee has issued a subpoena for President Donald Trump’s tax returns after a prior request under the tax code was rebuffed with the argument it lacked “legitimate legislative purpose.”

While I do not take this step lightly, I believe this action gives us the best opportunity to succeed and obtain the requested material,” chair Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) said in a statement on Friday. The subpoenas target the last six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns and were issued to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner Charles Rettig.

Also on rt.com US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin refuses to give Trump's tax returns to Congress

Mnuchin had turned down Neal’s previous request for the material on Monday, arguing it was made “for the sake of exposure” – essentially calling it a fishing expedition – and has previously admonished the committee that “investigative power is not unlimited.” That request was made under a provision in the federal tax code and was not a legal order. 

The Ways and Means Committee appeared split along partisan lines regarding how to proceed, with ranking member Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), pleading with Neal earlier on Friday not to issue the subpoena or file a lawsuit because “it has been made clear that this information is not being sought to further a valid legislative purpose, but instead to try to embarrass a political enemy.”

Brady pointed to a recent New York Times article based on Trump’s newly-leaked tax returns from 1985 to 1994 that portrayed his companies as deeply in the red.

Trump has already sued to block one subpoena targeting his financial records, declaring last month’s order from the House Oversight Committee “invalid and unenforceable” as part of an ongoing “political war” against himself.

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