On Friday, House Democrats issued subpoenas for President Donald Trump‘s tax returns, further ramping up their legal battle with the White House over the subject.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts), the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, submitted requests to both IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. 

Neal gave them a Friday (May 17) at 5 p.m. deadline to comply.

“While I do not take this step lightly, I believe this action gives us the best opportunity to succeed and obtain the requested material,” he said in a statement. “I sincerely hope that the Treasury Department will furnish the requested material in the next week so the committee can quickly begin its work.”

This development comes after House Democrats voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to deliver an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Muellers Russia investigation report. Democratic lawmakers have also called for former White House counsel Don McGahn to be held in contempt for his refusal to comply with subpoenas.

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Should Mnuchin again ignore the latest congressional subpoena — as many pundits predict he will — lawmakers’ next strategy would likely be to take the dispute over Trump’s taxes to court.

Mnuchin claimed last week that Democrats don’t have a “legitimate” reason for pursuing the president’s taxes. A recent New York Times report showed Trump paid no income tax from 1985 to 1994 — a period during which he reportedly also incurred severe losses — and this has likely drawn further concerns that his tax records may reveal evidence of illegal actions.


Trump has broken more than three decades of precedent by not releasing his tax returns.