Kennedy says Democrats 'acting in bad faith' on Trump tax returns

Kennedy says Democrats 'acting in bad faith' on Trump tax returns
© Greg Nash

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) on Sunday said Democrats are "acting in bad faith" in their mission to obtain President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE's tax returns. 

"When the Ways and Means chairman said he wanted Trump’s tax returns, he said, 'the reason I want his returns is because it will help me evaluate how good a job the IRS is doing in auditing,'" Kennedy said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Now give me a break ... nobody believes that. He’s in total bad faith."

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"The president doesn’t have to turn over his tax returns," Kennedy said. "Would I do it if I were running for president? Yeah, but there’s no law that says he has to." 

The Treasury Department last month missed a second deadline from House Democrats to provide Trump's tax returns, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying in a letter that the department can't act on the request "unless and until it is determined to be consistent with law."

He said he expects the Treasury to provide the House Ways and Means Committee with a final decision by May 6.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) has requested six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns from the IRS. 

Kennedy on NBC's said he believes the ongoing investigations by the House into the Trump administration are "dangerous to America's institutions," and said he believes the two sides should sit down to hash out what they need from one another before turning to the courts.

Trump said if Congress "wins," it will set a "new standard."

"Then all of the sudden, the new standard is that the House or the Senate can ask a president or a presidential nominee anything they want to about their personal life whether it’s relevant to being president," Kennedy said. 

"I don’t think the House is in completely good faith," he added. 

House Democrats in recent months have ramped up their investigations into the Trump administration on multiple fronts, including the president's finances and the conduct of Attorney General Bill Barr.

Some Democrats, including top 2020 contenders, have called to start impeachment proceedings against the president. 

Kennedy said on Sunday he is open to having special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE testify about his redacted Russia report, but added that he believes it's time for Democrats to "move on."