And we’re off the to the races. Just hours after the House Judiciary Committee voted to subpoena the Mueller report, the House Ways and Means Committee formally asked the Treasury Department to turn over Donald Trump’s tax returns. And while the timeframe for the Mueller report subpoena is still unclear, the timeframe for Trump’s taxes is very clear – and very abrupt.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has given the Treasury Department just one week to turn over Donald Trump’s personal tax returns from 2013 to 2018, along with several of his business tax returns, according to several major news outlets. The law is very clear that the committee has the authority to do this, and Trump has no legal way of stopping this.
If Trump is planning to try to stop this through less than legal methods, we’ll find out soon enough. If this request isn’t met by April 10th, you can expect the House Ways and Means Committee to formally subpoena Trump’s tax returns. Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin could theoretically try to unilaterally block his agency from complying, but this would put him in contempt of Congress. Mnuchin has consistently come across as loyal to Trump, but it’s unclear if he’s willing to face legal consequences to try to protect Trump.
House Democrats are coming out with their legal guns blazing today. Between their quest for the Mueller report and their quest for Donald Trump’s tax returns, we’re about to start seeing some truly ugly dirt surface on Trump. If he were smart, he’d try to negotiate his resignation now, in exchange for partial immunity from criminal prosecution, before more of his crimes are unearthed. But Trump isn’t exactly playing it smart these days.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report