Oct. 6 (UPI) — The Department of Treasury’s inspector general announced he will investigate the federal agency’s rejection of producing President Donald Trump’s tax returns for House Democrats.
On Friday, Acting Inspector Rich Delmar said he will look into what led up to a decision to reject the demands by the Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal for the records.
“Chairman Neal has asked Treasury OIG to inquire into the process by which the department received, evaluated and responded to the committee’s request for federal tax information,” Delmar said. “We are undertaking that inquiry.”
Neal said the investigation is a “priority,” but it will likely take “several weeks to a couple of months, but that’s a front-end guess,” he said.
In April, Neal requested six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns from the IRS, which is part of the Treasure Department.
A 1924 law says the IRS “shall furnish” anyone’s private tax information to the heads of Congress’ tax committees.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in refusing to turn over the filings, said Democrats do not have a legitimate legislative reason for seeking the documents. Instead, he said, Democrats only want to find potentially embarrassing information.
Neal says they need documents to examine how thoroughly the IRS audits presidents and vice presidents.
Neal is now suing Trump in federal court and a hearing is scheduled for Nov 6 in Washington.
Trump won’t publicly release his taxes, unlike other former presidents, claiming he is under audit.
“I want to be assured that Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’), is enforcing the law in a fair and impartial manner and no one is endeavoring to intimidate or impede government officials and employees carrying out their duties,” Neal said in a letter to Delmar.
Neal wants to know everyone within Treasury, including the IRS, and anyone outside the agencies, who was “involved in the handling of my requests and all related decisions.”
Delmar didn’t say whether he could investigate a whistle-blower’s complaint that someone tried to improperly influence the IRS audits of Trump.