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Schumer hits back at Trump: ‘He’s hostage-taking once again’

President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE is “hostage-taking once again” by threatening to not work with Congress “if there are investigations,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPew poll: 50 percent approve of Democrats in Congress Former state Rep. Vernon Jones launches challenge to Kemp in Georgia Schumer lays groundwork for future filibuster reform MORE (D-N.Y.) told Hill.TV on Thursday.

"He's hostage-taking once again, holding the American people hostage,” Schumer said in an exclusive interview with Hill.TV. "It's not just the right of Congress to look into these things, it's the obligation. The Founding Fathers said it.”

His remarks were in response to tweets earlier in the day from Trump, who lashed out at Democrats like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats hearing MORE (Calif.) launching investigations into the administration.

“So now Congressman Adam Schiff announces, after having found zero Russian Collusion, that he is going to be looking at every aspect of my life, both financial and personal, even though there is no reason to be doing so. Never happened before!”

Trump went on to say, “The Dems and their committees are going ‘nuts.’ The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!”

Schumer shot back by telling Hill.TV, “What's he afraid of? If he thought there was nothing there, why would he worry?”

A House Ways and Means subcommittee is holding a hearing Thursday that will discuss legislative proposals and tax laws involving presidential tax returns. Trump became the first president in decades to refuse to release his tax returns.

Rep. Judy ChuJudy May ChuBipartisan lawmakers call for action on anti-hate crime measures Biden clean electricity standard faces high hurdles House Democrats introduce carbon pricing measure MORE (D-Calif.), a member of the subcommittee, explained to Hill.TV that experts will testify that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealTrump lawyers argue NY tax return law no longer applies to him Democrats offer competing tax ideas on Biden infrastructure Top Democrat calling for expansion of child care support MORE (D-Mass.) has the authority to obtain all tax returns via IRS code section 6103.

That statute “allows the chair of Ways and Means to obtain the tax information of anyone that he deems worthy,” Chu said. “There is no ifs, ands or buts. Basically, if he asks for that then the person must comply, including the president.”

Veteran GOP Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayEx-Rep. Mike Conaway, former aide launch lobbying firm Thompson named top Republican on Agriculture Bottom line MORE (Texas) also told Hill.TV that Democrats are making good on 2018 campaign promises by launching investigations.

“The Democrats didn't really run on any kind of a platform to do anything other than investigate. So when you make it campaign promises to get elected then you've got to fulfill those promises,” said Conaway, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

“They basically promised to investigate everything under the sun that relates to President Trump – family, business, whatever it might be - so they are simply fulfilling campaign promises – if they bear fruit, they do, but I don't think they will in many instances,” Conaway added.

— Molly K. Hooper