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Democrats on House panel sue for Trump tax returns

Published: Tuesday, July 02, 2019 @ 12:08 PM

With Trump Administration officials refusing to turn over copies of President Donald Trump's tax returns to a U.S. House committee, Democrats on that panel went to court on Tuesday, officially filing a lawsuit that seeks to force the Internal Revenue Service to turn over those documents to lawmakers.

Citing §6103(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, Democrats say there is no wiggle room for the Secretary of Treasury or the IRS - that the feds "shall furnish" the documents to the House Ways and Means Committee.

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"Enacted in 1924, in the wake of Congressional attempts to investigate agency wrongdoing in the Teapot Dome corruption scandal, Section 6103(f) was intended to provide the Committee with unfettered access to tax return information necessary to carry out its broad mandate to oversee Treasury, the IRS, and the Nation’s tax laws," the committee's lawsuit states.

Top administration officials have made no bones about their feelings about the request for multiple years of personal and business tax returns for Mr. Trump.

"Congress's investigative power is not unlimited," Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin wrote in an April letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, arguing there is no 'express power' in the Constitution which allows the Congress to investigate the Executive.

But the language of the tax code is very direct, naming the House Ways and Means Committee as one of three Congressional panels which can request, and receive tax information.

Democrats argue the failure of the IRS to turn over the President's tax returns, "is depriving the Committee of information necessary to complete its time-limited investigation, thereby impeding its most basic constitutional functions."

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