Democratic lawmakers have sued the administration of Donald Trump in an effort to get their hands on the president』s tax returns, which he has refused to disclose.
The Democrat-led House ways and means committee yesterday asked a federal court to force the Treasury department to hand over the president』s tax returns, marking a new front in the legal battles between Mr Trump and Democrats in Congress.
由民主黨人領導的眾議院籌款委員會(House Ways and Means Committee)昨日請求聯邦法院迫使財政部交出總統的稅單，這標誌著特朗普與國會民主黨人之間的法律戰又開闢了一條新的戰線。
In April, Richard Neal, the committee』s chairman, demanded six years of tax records under a law that requires the Internal Revenue Service, a Treasury unit, to hand over tax returns to his committee on request.
Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, rejected the request and a subsequent congressional subpoena. The justice department issued an opinion in support of his decision last month, arguing that Mr Neal』s request did not serve a valid purpose.
The tussle concerns questions beyond Mr Trump』s tax returns and will help define the boundaries of congressional oversight as the administration mounts a broad effort to resist Democrat-led investigations.
The president has vowed to fight attempts to investigate his administration and business dealings. He has sued Deutsche Bank to prevent it from complying with a congressional subpoena for his financial records and blocked current and former aides from testifying.
Mr Neal announced the lawsuit yesterday in a short, matter-of-fact statement that noted the Treasury department』s failure to comply with his requests. 「Due to that non-compliance, the committee is now pursuing this matter in the federal courts,」 he said.
He had argued Mr Trump』s personal and business tax returns were needed to conduct oversight of how the IRS was auditing the taxes of sitting presidents.
The Democrat from Massachusetts had come under pressure from his party』s base to take action to obtain Mr Trump』s returns after Democrats retook control of the House in November. The party has long sought information about Mr Trump』s taxes after he broke with decades of presidential convention by refusing to release his returns.
The Treasury department did not immediately return a request for comment on the lawsuit.
The filing in the federal district court in Washington argued that neither Mr Trump』s administration nor the courts had the right to question his stated reasons for requesting the tax returns. 「It is not for the executive or the judiciary to examine the committee』s motivations for its oversight inquiries,」 it said.
In June, the justice department』s Office of Legal Counsel argued that Mr Neal had not requested the returns for oversight reasons, as he stated, and said 「the true aim was to make the president』s tax returns public」.
6月，司法部法律顧問辦公室(Office of Legal Counsel)辯稱，尼爾並非像他所說的那樣，出於監管方面的原因而要求提供報稅記錄，並表示「真正的目的是公開總統的稅單」。
「In the absence of a legitimate legislative purpose, the disclosure of the president』s tax returns to the chairman was barred by [statute] and the constitution,」 the office wrote.