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Sekulow: Tax return request is using ‘the IRS as a political weapon’

House Democrats’ request for President Trump’s tax returns amounts to using “the IRS as a political weapon,” Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow said on Sunday morning.

Sekulow told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that Congress may request individual citizens’ tax returns only for a “legitimate legislative purpose,” which he claimed House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) has not identified.

{mosads}The Supreme Court “has said congressional oversight cannot become law enforcement,” Sekulow told Stephanopoulos, saying the request would be using the IRS as “a political weapon” and suggesting it could set a precedent where Republicans could demand Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) tax returns. 

On Friday, William Consovoy, an outside attorney for Trump, wrote to the Treasury Department’s general counsel that the IRS should not release Trump’s tax returns without an opinion from the Justice Department. Trump has claimed an ongoing audit prevents him from releasing the returns.

Sekulow also addressed ongoing calls to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report, defending Attorney General William Barr’s summary, which stated that Mueller made no determination on obstruction of justice and found no evidence of criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In reference to claims from members of Mueller’s team that Barr’s summary did not accurately reflect the special counsel’s conclusions, Sekulow said these were likely the result of “legitimate disagreements inside the Justice Department.”

“When you have different questions of law and fact you don’t recommend prosecution,” Sekulow said. 

Tags Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Richard Neal Robert Mueller William Barr
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