Democrats set April 23 deadline for IRS to hand over Trump tax returns

April 13, 2019

House Democrats set a new deadline Saturday for President Trump to turn over his tax returns, giving the IRS 10 more days before it is deemed to be stonewalling.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, Massachusetts Democrat, also rejected the Treasury Department’s reasoning for why the House request was out-of-bounds. Mr. Neal insisted he is not on a mission to embarrass Mr. Trump, but rather looking to engage in normal legislative oversight in this case to see if the IRS is doing its job.

He said he wants the returns in hand by April 23, and said neither the Trump administration nor the courts can undercut him.

“Indeed, the Supreme Court has consistently noted that the motivations underlying congressional action are not to be second guessed, even by the courts,” Mr. Neal wrote.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier this week set a letter making clear he would blow through Mr. Neal’s original April 10 deadline for turning over the returns for Mr. Trump and some of the organizations affiliated with him, including one of his golf courses.

Mr. Mnuchin said that while Congress does have investigative powers, they must be flexed in pursuit of a legislative purpose. The comments of some of Mr. Neal’s committee members saying they want to see Mr. Trump’s returns out of political payback or to embarrass the president could undercut the chairman’s legal standing.

There also appears to be an odd game going on in that Mr. Neal keeps writing his requests directly to the IRS, but it’s Mr. Mnuchin who responded the last time.

The April 23 deadline falls in the middle of the House’s two-week spring break, which began Wednesday.