President Donald Trump has hired attorneys to fight a congressional request for his tax returns, according to a letter made public Friday.
In a letter to the IRS’s general counsel, William S. Consovoy, of the firm Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC, argued that Congress “cannot legally request — and the IRS cannot legally divulge” Trump’s tax returns without what he calls a “legitimate legislative purpose.”
On Wednesday, Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, requested Trump’s personal tax returns for the past six years as well as returns for eight Trump family companies.
Neal asserted that the request is not politically motivated. Instead, he said he wants to conduct oversight of the IRS’s policy regarding audits of sitting presidents and vice presidents.
But Consovoy pushed back against that logic by pointing out that Neal is seeking Trump’s tax returns for several years before he became president.
“It would be a gross abuse of power for the majority party to use tax returns as a weapon to attack, harass, and intimidate their political opponents. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, the ensuing tit-for-tat will do lasting damage to our nation,” Consovoy wrote in the letter to the general counsel of the IRS Brent J. McIntosh.
“We are confident that this misguided attempt to politicize the administration of the tax laws will not succeed.”
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