Politics

Top Democrat steps up demand for Trump’s tax returns

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2019, file photo, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., left, meets with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, during a session with new committee chairs, at the Capitol in Washington. Neal, whose committee has jurisdiction over all tax issues, has formally requested President Donald Trump's tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service. The unprecedented move is likely to set off a huge legal battle between Democrats controlling the House and the Trump administration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)
Associated Press
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

The response by Rep. Richard Neal, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, comes after the administration asked for more time to consider his initial request last week.

The Massachusetts Democrat says a 1920-era law saying the IRS ‘‘shall furnish’’ any tax return requested by Congress ‘‘is unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues’’ and that the Treasury’s objections lack merit.

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Neal tells IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, a Trump appointee, that he has two weeks to respond.

If Rettig fails to respond, Neal says that’ll be interpreted as denying the request, which could pave the way for a court battle.