Top Dem on push for Trump's tax returns: 'This is not political'

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the No. 4 House Democrat, said Sunday that Democratic efforts to obtain President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE's tax returns are "not political," pushing back on criticism from Republicans and the White House.

“This is not political as our Republican colleagues are making it out to be," he said during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," arguing that a provision of the federal tax code — Section 6103 — gives Democrats the authority to request Trump's returns.

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His comments came after acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyDemocrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' McConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial Biden campaign warns media about spreading 'malicious and conclusively debunked' claims during impeachment trial MORE said earlier during "Fox News Sunday" that Democrats' attempts to receive Trump's returns are a "political hit job." Mulvaney added that Democrats will "never" see the tax returns and that Democrats "know they're not going to" get them.

Last week, House Democrats formally requested Trump's tax returns. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) asked IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to turn over six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns. He cited Section 6103, which permits Congress's tax committees to view tax information of any filer in a closed session. 

One of Trump's personal lawyers later urged the IRS not to release the returns, arguing that it would be illegal to do so.

Luján added Sunday during his "Fox News Sunday" interview that "no other president in modern time" has had their returns requested under federal tax code "because they’ve all voluntarily shared them."

"President Trump promised as a candidate that he would share his tax returns. After he was elected, he promised he would share his tax returns with the American people. And he’s refused to do so," Luján said.