WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal said he expected to decide on Thursday whether to go to court to seek President Donald Trump’s tax returns, Politico reported.
FILE PHOTO: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal discusses his request to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig for copies of President Donald Trump’s tax returns as he talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
Neal, a Democrat, told Politico on Wednesday he plans to meet with House of Representatives lawyers and then make a final decision whether to bring a lawsuit against Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who on Monday rejected the committee’s request for six years of Trump’s individual and business tax returns.
Asked about bringing a lawsuit against Mnuchin, Politico quoted Neal as saying: “We’ll know that by tomorrow.”
The committee has not yet subpoenaed Mnuchin for the tax information, but Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, told Politico that he believes Neal does not need a subpoena to go to court.
Neal and Hoyer did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters.
Democrats want Trump’s returns as part of their investigations of possible conflicts of interest posed by his continued ownership of extensive business interests while he serves as president.
Democrats have cited a law saying the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” taxpayer data upon request from an authorized lawmaker.
Mnuchin said in a letter to Neal on Monday that he was rejecting the committee’s request because it lacked “a legitimate legislative purpose.”
Trump broke with a decades-old precedent by refusing to release his tax returns as a presidential candidate in 2016 or since being elected, saying he could not do so while his taxes were being audited.
On Tuesday, the New York Times said it had obtained Trump’s tax transcripts from 1985-1994, which showed his businesses had lost a total of more than $1 billion.
Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Leslie Adler