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The Boston Globe / YouTube

The New York legislature passed a bill last month that would make President Donald Trump’s state tax returns available to the House Ways and Means Committee upon request, but the committee’s Democratic chairman Richard Neal has reportedly made clear that he has no plans to ask for the documents.

According to Bloomberg, Neal fears that attempting to obtain the president’s state tax returns “would bolster Trump administration arguments that Congress is on a political fishing expedition.”

“Richard Neal would be the only Democrat allowed by the new law to ask for the documents,” Bloomberg reported, “but so far he has said he won’t do it.”

Neal’s refusal to pursue Trump’s New York returns—which could contain similar information to the president’s federal tax returns—sparked anger from progressive activists and lawmakers, who argued the Ways and Means chairman should be using all of the power at his disposal to investigate Trump’s potential financial conflicts.

“The Trump administration will stop at nothing to prevent the American people from seeing Donald Trump’s tax returns,” advocacy group Stand Up America told Common Dreams. “With Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin illegally blocking their release, Chairman Neal has no choice but to use every tool available to ensure that House investigators are able to uncover the truth about Trump’s conflicts of interests—including obtaining his state tax returns.”

“As numerous tax experts and members of Congress have already laid out,” Stand Up added, “there is no reason for Chairman Neal to hesitate to use this law once it is enacted.”

The TRUST Act is currently awaiting action from New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign the bill.

If enacted, the New York Times reported, the legislation would “require the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to release returns to the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Joint Committee on Taxation for any ‘specified and legitimate legislative purpose.‘”

Several Democratic members of Congress told Bloomberg that Neal should not hesitate to ask for Trump’s state tax returns as soon as possible, even though the president could sue in an attempt to block their release.

“Yes, absolutely, we need to ask,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “We need to know. There is an emoluments clause and a Constitution for a reason.”

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, agreed, saying: “Whatever it takes to get it—I’m for it. I believe that the president of the United States should follow the tradition of other presidents and reveal his tax returns.”

Progressives frequently criticized Neal over the past several months for slow-walking the process of obtaining Trump’s federal tax documents. Neal finally requested the president’s returns in April after months of delay, but Mnuchin has repeatedly refused to hand over the tax returns, even after the Ways and Means Committee issued a subpoena.

On May 23, Neal told reporters that he planned take legal action against the Trump administration “in the next few days,” but he has yet to do so.

Lawyer Will Stancil argued in a series of tweets on Wednesday that Neal’s reluctance to take decisive action on both Trump’s federal and state tax returns shows he “clearly has no real interest in obtaining Trump’s taxes and is only interested in engaging in this endless kabuki theater, where he makes ‘reasonable’ requests, sees them denied, and dithers over enforcement while lamenting how unreasonable Trump is being.”

 

 

“This is the Pelosi/Schumer game,” Stancil wrote. “They ever-so-politely make moderate requests of Trump, and when he flatly denies them, they go whining and crying to voters about how unfair and partisan and unreasonable Republicans are being.”

“It’s pathetic,” Stancil added, “and it’s a proven political failure.”

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8 COMMENTS

    • It’s a 2 party system. Essentially throw your vote away by voting independent or Green party. Americans do not have the luxury to do that. Choose a side and vote with the party that will do you the least harm and that is always the Democratic party.

  1. Nadler’s right, too many restrictions and the wrong path. Now, to use it as corroborating evidence, that would be proper. So, maybe later.

  2. Neal needs to be removed. He’s more interested in the lavish dinners and things he spends taxpayer money on to live a lavish lifestyle. (See latest Boston Globe story). Congress is full of do-nothing elites who are only concerned with staying aboard the gravy train. They all have to go. But this guy needs to be removed by Pelosi – another do-nothing.

  3. What is wrong with Neal not taking NY tax returns. What the heck is wrong with these people. First they wanted them and now they don’t Start proceeding and get this total delusional moron out of office.

  4. These people are embarrassing. Weak. The longer they wait for impeachment, the more damage he does to our economy, diplomacy and democracy. They let Pelosi be the speaker and she appoints even more feckless losers to head up these committees. Even more embarrassing for strong women. This is proving to Republicans that investigating Trump is partisan if they can ignore and obstruct and Dems just go away. I bet it would not be this easy to block congress if it were a dem prez. Hell the dems would be voting with the Republican lynch mob to enforce these requests. Pelosi says ‘If support for impeachment is stronger, she will impeach.’ She means if McConnell tells her to do it, which will never happen. I think the 2018 elections were a referendum for dems to impeach. Do we have to all take to the streets to move her? Shouldn’t the democratic voice be heard through the elections. Why bother in 2020 if 2018 made no difference? If everyone has bowed to the Trump dynasty, maybe the 2 party system is as archaic as the electoral college.
    What is even taking these people so long to hold this admin in contempt or impeaching, Barr, Mnuchin, Ross, Kavanaugh? What do these people do all day besides pass bills that will never see the senate as long as McConnell is in office. The DCCC needs to focus on taking McC down, now. How about impeaching him?

  5. That is disgusting-ASK for the tax returns! WHAT rules are you playing by? The conman and his criminal family do NOT wait to burn the taxpayers an do not care how it looks??? The current bill I pay for their travel to U.K. & “family vacation for adult kids to drink in Ireland NOT paying the pub bill” doesn’t worry them so damn it get the tax returns! NEAL you have a job-NOW DO IT

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