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Trump is the first president since Nixon who did not voluntarily release his returns while running for public office. "That's all this is about, and it's Nixonian to the core".

"They'll speak to the Attorney General, ' he said in response to a question about the House Ways & Means Committee chair's demand for six years" worth of his tax filings.

"Under the Internal Revenue Manual, individual income tax returns of a President are subject to mandatory examination, but this practice is IRS policy and not codified in the Federal tax laws", Mr Neal wrote in a letter to the IRS. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said.

"We expect the full report and underlying evidence and will subpoena it if necessary", a House Judiciary Committee aide said Thursday, adding that there is no timeline for the chairman to serve his subpoena.

Congressional Republicans on Thursday criticized efforts by House Democrats to obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy warning that the request "sets a risky standard of having the federal government used as a political weapon" and dismissing the move as "a waste of time".

Democrats should "focus on legislation", Trump tweeted.

A top Democrat formally requested on Wednesday that the United States tax agency provide Congress with President Donald Trump's tax returns, setting up a likely legal battle with the White House.

He said he wants to get the information to review how the IRS handles audits of presidents' taxes.

Republicans are certain to argue that the request for Trump's taxes is yet another example of unreasonable scrutiny by Democrats frustrated with indications that Mueller's report will not doom Trump's presidency.

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"Mexico understands that we're going to close the border or I'm going to tariff the cars".

In this April 2, 2019, photo, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., arrives for a Democratic Caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington.

In March, Mnuchin told Congress that he would "protect the president as we would protect any taxpayer" when it comes to privacy.

At an event at the White House on Wednesday after Neal issued his request, Trump repeated the same explanation. "If the president insists that he is above the law and directs that the unequivocal mandate be ignored, we should move forward immediately with legal action".

"We pointed out that this was about policy", Mr. Neal said.

"The IRS absolutely has access to these returns", Kildee said.

"Is that all?" the president asked when told Democrats wanted to see six years of his returns. So it should not be an enormous lift. The clause - found in Article I, Section 8 - gives Congress power over the designation of federal spending.

Kildee said it's premature to speculate whether the documents could shed any additional light on the president's potential financial entanglement with nefarious interests, but said there's "great public value that comes from the transparency of having the president's tax returns available".


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