Democrats prepare for tax return showdown with defiant Trump

House Democrats are carefully laying the groundwork to obtain President Donald Trump's personal tax returns ...

Posted: Dec 19, 2018 10:06 AM
Updated: Dec 19, 2018 10:06 AM

House Democrats are carefully laying the groundwork to obtain President Donald Trump's personal tax returns in the new Congress, hoping to build public support for their effort as they prepare to confront a defiant President.

Incoming House Ways and Means Committee Chairmen Richard Neal, the only Democrat who has the power in Congress to obtain Trump's taxes, had hoped Trump would hand them over willingly, but a source familiar with ongoing discussions says public comments from the President's allies have made it clear that asking nicely would be a "waste of time" and that likely the most efficient way for Neal to ask for the returns is to do it formally. In that case, Neal would ask the Treasury Department for the returns in the new Congress. When that would actually take place is still under discussion.

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Income tax

Internal Revenue Service

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Political platforms and issues

Politics

Public finance

Richard Neal (Politician)

Tax policy

Tax reform

Taxes and taxation

US Congress

US Democratic Party

US Department of the Treasury

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

US House of Representatives

US political parties

White House

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has signaled he thinks Trump should defy a Democratic request for his taxes.

"They have to have a reason for wanting them and I fail to see a reason. They can't just look at them. It has to be linked to some wrongdoing," Giuliani told CNN on Tuesday.

"We will fight it in court and I think we would win unless they had some specific allegation."

The strategy to obtain the tax returns, however, isn't just about Trump. Democrats believe they are on solid legal footing, but they also argue that Trump has defied precedent as the only modern-day President not to divulge his tax records.

They want to make the case to the public that in order to understand a candidate's interests, they have to see their tax returns. A source familiar with discussions told CNN that the House Ways and Means Committee plans to hold a hearing likely in January on a provision in Democrats' first major piece of legislation, HR 1, that would mandate presidential nominees release three years of their tax returns.

Neal, a business-minded Democrat who has waited years for the gavel on Ways and Means, finds himself in a unique position. While Neal has expressed interest in working with the President on proposals like infrastructure, the congressman under IRS code is the only Democrat on Capitol Hill who can legally obtain Trump's tax returns, a politically fraught move that could easily consume the committee if Neal isn't strategic.

"(Neal) can do it by simply asking for it, but he's not going to do it until we have all of our eggs in order. We gotta make sure we all agree that we don't do this with a knee jerk," said Rep. BIll Pascrell, a Democrat from New Jersey. "We're not doing this by a knee jerk. We've got research up the gazoo behind us and the law's on our side."

Democrats are working hard to ensure that the committee isn't overshadowed by Trump's taxes. The source familiar with planning has signaled that Neal wants to spend time cracking down on the ways the Trump administration has weakened the Affordable Care Act at the Department of Health and Human Services and the committee is set to take time to examine just who benefited from the GOP's tax bill. The House Ways and Means Committee hired Andrew Grossman, the former counsel at the Joint Committee on Taxation to be their Chief Tax Counsel, a move aimed to help the committee better scrutinize the GOP tax bill.

Lafayette
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 38°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 29°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 38°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 42°
Frankfort
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 34°
Frankfort
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 32°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 32°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 29°
Mild Conditions Continue Wednesday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events