Washington – Rep. John Larson and other Democrats on the House of Representative’s tax-writing committee sued Tuesday for access to President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
The lawsuit targeting the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, filed by the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., escalates a fight with the Trump administration, which has blocked all attempts to obtain the president’s financial records.
“I applaud Chairman Neal for filing a lawsuit today for the Ways and Means Committee to obtain President Trump’s tax return,” said Larson , D-1st District. “It is within his jurisdiction as committee chair to request the president’s tax returns to conduct oversight.”
The lawsuit named Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig as defendants.
Ways and Means Committee Democrats are relying on a 1924 law that gives chairmen of House and Senate tax-writing committees broad authority to demand the tax returns of White House officials.
“Defendants have mounted an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the IRS, and the tax laws on behalf of the American people who participate in the Nation’s voluntary tax system,” the lawsuit says.
Larson said “this administration has not only ignored the chairman’s request, but subpoenas too. “
“The law is on the Committee’s side and I am confident the chairman’s request will be upheld in federal court,” the Democrat added.
In May, Mnuchin rejected a subpoena issued by Democrats on the committee. That rejection prompted Neal to promise a court battle that legal experts say might go all the way to the Supreme Court.
Breaking with precedent set by previous presidents, Trump refused to release his tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign.