Top House Democrat steps up demand for Trump's tax returns

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal D-Mass. left meets with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi D-Calif. center during a session with new committee chairs at the Capitol in Washington. Neal

Mnuchin, who has consulted with the White House and Department of Justice about Trump's tax returns, previously said that Neal's request raised concerns about the scope of the committee's authority, privacy protections for taxpayers, and the legislative goal of lawmakers in seeking the documents. "Those concerns lack any merit", Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) wrote.

Earlier this month, Neal wrote to the IRS asking for six years of the President's personal and business tax returns.

"At no time has the President indicated, asked, directed or pressured the Acting Secretary to do anything illegal".

"New York City will always be the ultimate city of immigrants - the president's empty threats won't change that", New York mayor Bill DeBlasio said in a statement.

"What I don't get is why don't we try to solve the problem".

"I'm sure we'll respond by that deadline, not going to make a commitment prematurely whether we'll be able to conclude a legal review by that deadline", Mnuchin said. Obviously, given the importance of this issue we have people working on this diligently. "The Chairman is giving us a new deadline".

Most recently, Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican cars imported to the United States if Mexico does not deter US-bound undocumented migrants from crossing through its territory, and has also threatened to close the southern border, according to a Sputnik report.

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On Monday, lawmakers in NY proposed a bill that would allow the commissioner of the state's Department of Taxation and Finance to turn over state tax returns if requested by certain congressional committees.

Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, is the only House lawmaker authorized to request taxpayer data from the Treasury, which oversees the IRS.

"The Committee's request raises serious issues concerning the constitutional scope of Congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the asserted legislative objective, and the constitutional rights of American citizens", Mnuchin wrote.

The request looks set to trigger a protracted legal showdown. With the administration determined to deny the request, experts say only courts can now resolve the issue.

During her interview on Sunday, Sanders also stated that Trump wouldn't release his taxes "as long as [they're] under audit", continuing a line that the president has said to avoid making his returns public since he ran for president.

It would, however, likely encounter a slew of logistical and legal obstacles, with some legal experts and advocacy groups saying the proposal could violate federal laws, including those barring the use of government funds for political purposes. "It's another misuse of presidential power, against the law". Most of Trump's attempts have been blocked by courts. Democrats argue that 6103 requests are made all the time and are routinely handled through the IRS, not under the supervision of the treasury secretary.

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