Kirsters Baish’s Opinion | It has been reported by Reuters that a senior House Democrat on a congressional panel that is looking for President Donald Trump’s tax returns claimed on Saturday that “the current Congress may not see the long-sought tax documents without launching an impeachment inquiry.”
Representative Lloyd Doggett, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, were slow to request Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service and now need to push back forcefully against Trump’s refusal to turn over the returns.
“Because this request was delayed until April and no legal action has yet been filed to get the returns, it is certain we won’t get them this year and perhaps (will face) some challenge to even get them with favorable expedited rulings by the time this Congress ends,” Doggett, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, explained to CNN.
“That and the total obstruction by Trump have convinced me that we need to institute an impeachment inquiry,” the Texas Democrat continued. “I just think we need a thorough investigation and a strong pushback immediately to a president who believes he’s above the law,” Doggett continued.
Reuters reports, “The current Congress is due to end in January 2021. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal requested six years of Trump’s individual and business tax returns on April 3, under a federal law that says the Treasury secretary ‘shall furnish’ such documents if requested by a lawmaker who holds in Neal’s position. He later subpoenaed the returns.”
The subpoena was rejected by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Department of Justice issued a legal opinion on Friday that stated that the secretary “was on solid ground for doing so,” according to Reuters. “Neal has said he is likely to sue in federal court to enforce the subpoena and obtain the returns. But he has taken no such action. Democrats want Trump’s returns as part of their inquiry into possible conflicts of interest posed by his continued ownership of extensive business interests, even as he serves as president, reports Reuters.
The President broke a decades-old precedent for US Presidents when he stated that he would not be releasing his tax returns as a presidential candidate in 2016. He has not released them since being elected either. He explained that he would not be doing so while his taxes were still being audited.
Reuters reports that “Numerous tax experts have said an audit should not be an obstacle to disclosing his returns.”