Washington: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal on Friday said that he issued subpoenas to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig for six years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Neal said that the subpoenas directed the concerned officials to send information in the matter to the House panel on May 17 by 5 pm (local time).
“After reviewing the options available to me, and upon the advice of counsel, I issued subpoenas today to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Commissioner of the IRS for six years of personal and business returns,” Neal said in a statement.
“While I do not take this step lightly, I believe this action gives us the best opportunity to succeed and obtain the requested material. I sincerely hope that the Treasury Department will furnish the requested material in the next week so the committee can quickly begin its work,” he added.
The announcement comes after Mnuchin had rejected Neal’s request on April 3 to make public Trump’s personal and business tax returns between 2013 to 2018.
After becoming a presidential candidate, Trump has refused to release any details of his tax returns.
The Democrats suspect that the tax information could reveal evidence of wrongdoings by Trump. They have made tax information one of their top priorities after taking control of the House in January.
On Monday, Mnuchin had turned down a request from the Democrats to make Trump’s personal and business tax returns public.
“I am informing you now that the Department may not lawfully fulfil the Committee’s request,” Mnuchin wrote in his one-page letter.
Mnuchin said that the request by the Democrats is “unprecedented” arguing that it raises “serious constitutional questions” that could have “dire consequences” for taxpayer privacy.