House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) sent a new letter to the IRS obliterating all of Trump’s excuses for hiding his tax returns.
Rep. Neal wrote:
I am aware that concerns have been raised regarding my request and the authority of the Committee. Those concerns lack merit. Moreover, judicial precedent commands that none of the concerns raised can legitimately be used to deny the Committee’s request.
First, it bears noting that the statutory language of section 6103(f) is unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues that warrant supervision or review by the Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) or the Department of Justice (“Justice”). Section 6103(f) commands that “[u]pon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives . . . the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.” 26 U.S.C. § 6103(f)(1) (emphasis added). It is a well-established principle of statutory interpretation that words that are neither terms of art nor statutorily defined be given their ordinary meaning. Here, the statute’s use of the “mandatory ‘shall’ . . . creates an obligation impervious to judicial discretion.” Lexecon, Inc. v. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, 523 U.S. 26, 35 (1998); see also, e.g., EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, 572 U.S. 489, 509 (2014); Barnhart v. Sigmon Coal Co., 534 U.S. 438, 461-62 (2002) (courts “must presume that a legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there.” (internal quotation marks omitted)).
Second, there is no valid basis to question the legitimacy of the Committee’s legislative purpose here. The Supreme Court has instructed that Congress’s power to investigate is “broad” and “encompasses inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes.” Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 187 (1957).
Third, concerns about what the Committee may do with the tax returns and return information are baseless. As my April 3rd letter noted, this request falls squarely within the Committee’s oversight authority.
Time is Running Out On The Trump Tax Returns Cover Up
Rep. Neal gave the IRS until April 23 at 5 PM to turn over Trump’s tax returns. The legal precedent cited by the Ways and Means Committee Chairman was no accident. If Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin continues to stall on turning over Trump’s tax returns, Democrats will sue, and given the law and the vast legal history in these matters, the Democrats will likely win in court and get Trump’s tax returns.
Time is running out on Trump. Unless the IRS complies with the House request, a court fight is coming that the White House will likely lose.
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Read the full letter:
WM Letter to IRS 4.13.19