Protesters bring inflatable Trump chicken to IRS building to demand tax returns

Members of the progressive Tax March group protested outside the IRS building in Washington, D.C., on Monday to demand President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE release his tax returns. 

The Tax Day protest included a giant inflatable depicting Trump as a chicken, which the Tax March has used at past protests on the National Mall. The group says it uses the figure because Trump is "too chicken" to release his tax returns. 

The inflatable chicken is modeled after a statue unveiled in 2016 as the mascot for a Chinese mall. Since the statue was unveiled, a number of smaller copies have appeared across the United States and Europe.

Demands for Trump's tax returns have increased in recent days as House Democrats investigate the president's administration and businesses. The House Ways and Means Committee requested copies of Trump's taxes from the IRS last month, but the IRS did not meet Democrats' deadline for the documents.

Trump broke long-standing precedent in 2016 when he refused to release his tax returns on the campaign trail. He has since maintained that he cannot release his tax returns because they are under audit. 

The IRS has said that audits don’t prevent individuals from releasing their own tax information, and the agency has an internal policy to audit the sitting president. Trump has said he's been under audit since before the election.

Democrats have pressed for Trump's returns, arguing they could reveal conflicts of interest or potential legal issues with the president's finances.

The move has drawn criticism from House Republicans, such as Oversight and Reform Committee members Reps. Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio), who have accused their Democratic counterparts of seeking the information "solely to embarrass President Trump and to advance the relentless Democrat attacks upon the Trump administration."