Top House Democrat steps up demand for Trump's tax returns

A top House Democrat is ratcheting up his demand for access to President Donald Trump's tax returns, telling the IRS that the law clearly gives Congress a right to them.

In a letter Saturday, Neil informed the IRS commissioner he now has until April 23rd, to provide six years worth of the president's personal and business returns.

Highlighting what he called the "unprecedented nature of this request", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wrote to Neal that he - not the IRS commissioner - would manage the Treasury's handling of the request and that the Justice Department was being consulted "to ensure that our response is fully consistent with the law and Constitution". "Mnuchin so far has only postponed responding to Democrats' request and said he would confer with the Justice Department, but not yet rejected it", the Post reports.

Mnuchin's concerns "lack merit", Neal wrote. Being under audit is no legal bar to anyone releasing his or her returns.

Neal said Saturday that the administration has no right "to question or second guess" his motivations.

Neal said that the Committee is "considering legislative proposals and conducting oversight related to our Federal tax laws, including, but not limited to, the extent to which the IRS audits and enforces the Federal tax laws against a President".

Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, has said Democrats will "never" see the returns, "nor should they", and "they know it".

Hoylman, who represents a Manhattan district, introduced legislation that would allow the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to send Congress state tax returns requested by three Congressional committees for a "specific and legitimate legislative goal".

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Illinois is one of 18 states nationwide considering legislation on Trump's tax returns, which also includes New York, Colorado and Washington. If the U.S. Treasury Department denies requests from Congress for the president's federal tax returns, they would at least have a chance of getting his state returns.

William Consovoy, whose firm was retained by Trump to represent him on the matter, has written the Treasury's general counsel and said the congressional request "would set a risky precedent" if granted and that the IRS can not legally divulge the information.

Trump has repeatedly claimed to be unable to release his tax returns because he is under audit.