Dem says request for Trump's tax returns could come within weeks

Dem says request for Trump's tax returns could come within weeks
© Greg Nash

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellHouse panel to hold hearings on SALT deduction cap House panel to hold hearings on SALT deduction cap First major 'Medicare for All' hearing sharpens attacks on both sides MORE (D-N.J.) predicted Tuesday that House Democrats will request President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' MORE's tax returns from the Treasury Department in the next two weeks — the latest signal that the request may be coming soon.

"My prediction would be the next couple of weeks," Pascrell, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters.

He added that the two-week timetable is his personal prediction and that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOn The Money: Fed opens door to rate cuts under pressure from Trump | Lawmakers, White House fail to reach budget deal | Democrats take aim at Trump policies with T spending bill | Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency On The Money: Fed opens door to rate cuts under pressure from Trump | Lawmakers, White House fail to reach budget deal | Democrats take aim at Trump policies with T spending bill | Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency Liberal group presses Democratic chairman to file lawsuit for Trump's tax returns quickly MORE (D-Mass.) hasn't told him a specific timetable.

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When Neal was asked about a timetable on Tuesday, he told reporters he would make the request "when the case is ready."

"I think that we're doing the due diligence," he said.

Democrats have signaled an interest in obtaining Trump's tax returns in order to learn more about about any conflicts of interest the president may have.

Trump has broken with tradition and refused to make his returns public, citing an IRS audit. However, the IRS has said that nothing prevents people from disclosing their own tax information.

A provision in the federal tax code gives Neal the ability to request anyone's tax returns from the Treasury Department, provided that they are reviewed in a closed session. After examining the returns behind closed doors, the Ways and Means Committee could vote to issue a report to the full House that makes some or all of the return information public.

Neal has taken a cautious approach to requesting the returns. He has said he wants to build a case first, because he thinks the issue is likely to result in a lengthy court battle.

But Pascrell's prediction is the latest suggestion that the request for Trump's returns could happen in the near future.

A spokeswoman for Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record MORE (D-Calif.) couldn't confirm a timeline late last week but said in a statement then that the House has "legitimate legislative, oversight and legal reasons to review the President’s tax returns" and will "take all necessary steps" to get them.

Pascrell said he thinks that Neal will likely request 10 years of tax returns. He said that Neal may start by just requesting Trump's personal tax returns but then seek the president's business tax returns at a later point.

"The letter will reflect research, talking with attorneys and the other resource people that we have," he said.

Neal said that whether he requests both personal and business returns will depend on the advice of the lawyers he's consulting.

Pascrell said that he likes Neal's methodical approach.

"It's a smart way, and I think we're on the right path," he said.