Key Democrat will ask for Trump tax returns if House flips

Key Democrat will ask for Trump tax returns if House flips
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If Democrats take the House, the lawmaker poised to become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee is vowing to ask for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE’s tax returns.

Rep. Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Powerful House committee turns to drug pricing | Utah governor defies voters on Medicaid expansion | Dems want answers on controversial new opioid The Memo: Smaller tax refunds hold dangers for Trump, GOP Dems build case for obtaining Trump's tax returns MORE (D-Mass.) in an interview with CNN said he hoped Trump would volunteer to turn over the documents. In the likely scenario that he does not, Neal suggested there could be a drawn-out battle.

“I think we would all be comfortable if this was done on a voluntary basis,” he said. “If they would resist the overture then I think you could probably see a long and grinding court case.”

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Trump broke with precedent during the 2016 presidential campaign by refusing to make his tax returns public, something other candidates had done on a routine basis.

The refusal to do so has long been a bone of contention with Democrats, who have argued it is important to see the returns so that the Trump business empire’s reported connections with foreign governments and other actors can be seen.

A report in The New York Times earlier this month added fuel to the fire by stating that Trump had received hundreds of millions from his father, who constructed the gifts in ways that skirted the need to pay taxes.

Trump and the White House have criticized the report, with the president calling it both “boring” and a “hit piece.”

Neal said it is not yet clear what strategy Democrats might use to try to obtain the Trump tax records.

“Anticipate a long court case in the end,” he told CNN.

Neal told The Hill in a recent interview that if he becomes chairman of the panel, he will hold hearings on the new tax law passed by the Republican Congress.