- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 10, 2019

President Trump said Wednesday he doesn’t plan to hand over his tax returns to House Democrats, citing an ongoing audit.

“I would love to give them but I’m not going to do it while I’m under audit,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he departed the White House. “I have no obligation to do that while under audit and no lawyer would tell you to release your tax returns while you’re under audit.”

Experts disagree, saying nothing prevents him from following a decadeslong tradition of transparency among presidents, though Mr. Trump is digging in for a legal battle over the information.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal sent a request to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig last week for six years of Mr. Trump’s personal tax returns, as well as returns for some of the president’s associated entities, like a revocable trust.

Mr. Neal cited an obscure provision in the law that says the Treasury Secretary “shall furnish” taxpayer information if it’s requested by one of the chairmen of Congress’s tax-writing committees.

The chairman said getting a look at the president’s tax information is necessary to study IRS practices about auditing presidential tax returns, but Republicans say there’s no legislative value to them and have dismissed the request as an attempt to fish for damaging details about the president.

Wednesday is the deadline for Mr. Neal’s request.

Mr. Trump said he has released other financial disclosures about his businesses and that voters don’t care about the subject, anyway.

“I got elected last time, the same exact issue,” he said.

David Sherfinski contributed to this story.

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