Impeachment Games: House Democrats Slap Treasury Department, IRS With Subpoena For Trump's Taxes
A House committee issued subpoenas Friday ordering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig to turn over President Trump’s tax returns by next Friday at 5 p.m., according to copies of the subpoenas provided by the committee.
House Ways and Means Chair Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) authorized the subpoenas following months of disagreements with the Trump administration over whether federal law allows Congress to obtain the records.
“The IRS is under a mandatory obligation to provide the information requested,” the subpoenas state. “The IRS has had more than four weeks to comply with the Committee’s straightforward request. Therefore, please see the enclosed subpoena.”
The subpoenas come amid a widening legal conflict between House Democrats and the White House over a range of oversight issues, with the administration invoking executive privilege to prevent Trump's former counsel from giving certain records to Congress.
The Trump administration has rejected Democrats’ requests for the president’s tax returns as violations of taxpayer privacy, with an attorney hired by the president and congressional Republicans echoing similar concerns. Mnuchin repeatedly asked for more time to respond to Neal’s request before rejecting it outright earlier this month.
“I think we’re coming to the point where we’re running out of letters to write,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, in an interview on Thursday.
If Mnuchin and Rettig do not turn over the returns, Neal could respond by going to a congressional body to authorize a lawsuit in federal court against the two Trump administration officials. That body, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, is controlled by Democrats.Oh yes, lawfare is about to erupt. And these aren’t oversight hearings. They’re impeachment hearings. This whole circus with Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) over at Judiciary with Attorney General William Barr is part of the same coordinated crusade to get Trump. Expect a fight, folks. The 2020 election cycle is drawing closer, which means both camps will do everything they can to maximize whatever they think will get their base energized. For Democrats, it’s impeachment or at the very least looking like they’re fighting the Trump administration, whereas everyone else sees a witch-hunt or stalking.