The report states that Neal brushed aside comments made by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that he doesn't have to order the IRS to provide them as lacking "merit". "If you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request".
Federal law gives the chairmen of House Ways and Means, Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation the power to request the returns of any taxpayer, although some legal scholars believe the request needs a legitimate legislative goal, which Democrats say they have met.
The administration has already failed to comply with a 10 April deadline. "The Committee's request raises serious issues concerning the constitutional scope of Congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the asserted legislative goal, and the constitutional rights of American citizens". Bernie Sanders returned to the friendly terrain of Wisconsin on Friday, promising to build a coalition that will defeat President Donald Trump as he kicked off a swing through pivotal states that are part of the Democratic "blue wall" strategy for 2020. "For the same reasons, I intend to supervise the Department's review of the Committee's request to ensure that taxpayer protections and applicable laws are scrupulously observed, consistent with my statutory responsibilities", wrote Secretary Mnuchin to Chairman Neal.
Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal sent the IRS a request for Trump tax information on April 3, citing a portion of the IRS Code giving certain committees authority to access "any return or return information".
"It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns and return information".
Despite the law's clarity, Democrats have long acknowledged that the request, if denied, would mean a federal court battle that could ultimately be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Republicans have dismissed Neal's request as unprecedented and political. Dubbed the "blue wall" before they unexpectedly tipped to Trump, they may have supplanted Florida and OH as the nation's premier presidential battlegrounds.
Trump broke with a decades-old precedent by refusing to release his returns as a presidential candidate in 2016 and continues to do so as president, saying his tax returns are under IRS audit. Neal asked for Trump's personal and business returns from 2013-18. Neal also could seek the returns through a subpoena.
But on Saturday, he said the administration would respond by the latest target date. The IRS says there's no rule against subjects of an audit from publicly releasing their tax filings.