The Internal Revenue Service will see a request for years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns within the next few weeks as Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee prepare to "take all necessary steps” to obtain them, according to NBC News.
Two aides involved with the matter told NBC News that chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) has the committee’s lawyers drawing up the request and that Democrats are willing to litigate if necessary.
Neal reportedly has asked the House Oversight and Government Reform, Financial Services, Intelligence and Judiciary committees to provide him “detailed arguments for why they need the president’s tax returns to conduct their probes.”
Once the Ways and Means committee makes the request, it falls to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to determine whether or not the request is fulfilled.
Unlike every president going back to Richard Nixon, Trump refuses to make his tax returns public, causing all manner of speculation over potential conflicts of interest or criminal activity.
Though Neal previously said he might await the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation before requesting Trump’s tax returns, the testimony of the president’s former personal attorney and self-described “fixer” Michael Cohen last week bolstered the case to make the request and involve several other committees.
Cohen offered in sworn testimony that Trump “had at times deflated the value of his properties to lower his tax bill and called the government ‘stupid’ for giving him a $10 million tax refund in 2008,” as well as provided inflated assets to an insurance company.
An aide told NBC that the committee believes 10 years of Trump’s personal tax returns “can give a good sense of whether there is any evidence of tax fraud and numerous items of interest.”