Pelosi aide: Dems 'will take all necessary steps' to get Trump's tax returns

Pelosi aide: Dems 'will take all necessary steps' to get Trump's tax returns
© Greg Nash

House Democrats have "legitimate" reasons to obtain President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE's tax returns and "will take all necessary steps" to get their hands on them, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills MORE's (D-Calif.) office said Friday.

“Every day the American people and Congress learn more about President Trump’s improprieties, from conflicts of interest to influence peddling, potential tax evasion and violations of the Constitution – all roads leading back to President Trump’s finances," Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne said in a statement. "These improprieties, and the lack of transparency around them, give the House legitimate legislative, oversight and legal reasons to review the President’s tax returns."

"We will take all necessary steps, including litigation, if necessary, to obtain them," she added. "Given President Trump’s recalcitrance, the committees with jurisdictional and legislative equities are working with the Ways and Means Committee to ensure the House is able to present the strongest possible case.”

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Pelosi's office issued the statement two days after Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee about Trump's alleged past business practices.

Cohen said during his testimony Wednesday that Trump would undervalue his assets to reduce his real estate tax bill, but inflate the value of his assets to boost his rankings on Forbes's lists of wealthiest people and for insurance purposes.

Cohen also cast doubt on whether Trump's tax returns were under audit during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has long said he doesn't want to release his returns because of an audit, though the IRS has said that audits don't prevent people from releasing their own tax information.

The statement from Pelosi's office is one of the strongest to date from Democratic leadership about plans to try to obtain the president's tax filings.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOvernight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 Democrats could introduce articles of impeachment next week House to vote next week on sweeping bill to lower drug prices MORE (D-Mass.) has said he plans to request the returns but has said he wanted to build a case first because the matter is likely to result in a lengthy court battle.

A provision in the federal tax code allows Neal to request anyone's tax returns from the Treasury Department and review them in a closed session. The committee could then vote to send a report to the full House that could make tax return information public.