In a hearing before McFadden, House Counsel Douglas Letter said the committee wanted the returns to continue and hoped the Treasury Department would “follow what we believe to be a clear legal obligation” to provide them.
Justice Department attorney James Gilligan told McFadden he had no idea whether the Treasury Department or the DOJ, which was backing Mnuchin’s decision, changed his position or is about to change his position.
Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, was looking for Trump’s six-year personal tax returns and some of his business-related returns, citing a law requiring the Treasury Secretary to make all of the returns requested by the chairs of the three tax committees in Congress.
While Neal said he needed the return to validate the integrity of the routine checks of the presidents by the IRS, the Democrats were keen to investigate them for signs of wrongdoing.
After Mnuchin refused, saying Neal had no “legitimate legislative purpose” to wanting the return, the Democrats sued in federal court in July 2019. Since then, the case has developed rapidly.
The recent back and forth is an example of the type of litigation emerging from his administration that will continue to haunt Trump.
In another case, House Democrats said in December that they would reissue Trump’s accounting firm for his financial records. And Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is looking for Trump’s tax returns on another case.
The letter expressed his frustration at the delays in Neal’s case.
“Our feeling is enough is enough,” said Letter during the hearing on Friday. “The statute is clear” that the Treasury Secretary must give Neal Trump’s return.