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Trump lawyer says no ‘legitimate’ reason to seek Trump tax returns

President’s lawyer digs in on Trump tax returns saying requests have no ‘legitimate legislative purpose’ as six committee chairs demand full Mueller probe to make their own ‘independent assessment’ of obstruction allegations

  • House Democrats are taking steps to get hold of Trump’s tax returns
  • He refused to release his returns during the 2016 campaign
  • The White House has yet to weigh in on what could be a pitched fight over releasing the Mueller report
  • White House lawyers have rejected House Oversight requests for documents 
  • Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said Congress has no ‘legitimate legislative purpose in asking for the tax return’
  •  Six Democratic chairmen wrote to demand the attorney general release the full report by April 2
  • House Ways and Means Chairman has the authority to request any Americans’ tax return 
  • Rudy Giuliani defended the Trump Organization: ‘It’s a clean organization’
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President Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow is denying Congress has a ‘legitimate’ interest in seeking the president’s tax return – throwing down the gauntlet in yet another potential legal standoff over documents. 

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow made the comments as Democrats take stock of their portfolio of investigations after Attorney General William Barr’s stunning summary of the Mueller probe – which indicated no finding of conspiracy with the Russian government. 

Among the number of Democratic-led investigations is the push by Ways and Means Committee Democrats to finally gain hold of Trump’s tax returns. 

‘What is the investigative purpose for them to have his tax return?’ Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said of requests for Trump’s tax returns

Congress lacks ‘a legitimate legislative purpose in asking for the tax return,’ Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told ABC News

‘What is the investigative purpose for them to have his tax return?’ he asked, rhetorically. ‘They’re not investigators.’ He predicted Democrats wouldn’t succeed in prying them from the Treasury Department.

‘What is their legislative purpose in asking for the tax return and how he spent his money?’ he added. ‘Are they going to pass the Donald Trump Tax Reform Act?’

The House Ways and Means Chairman has the authority to request any Americans’ tax return, and has already submitted a request to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

President Trump was the first presidential nominee in decades not to release tax returns during his campaign

The only Trump return that came out was his 2015 return, which leaked to the New York Times

Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, listens while U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, hosts the 2018 National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals, at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, March 25, 2019. At right is Jay Sekulow

‘I’m committed to this. This is not just about one individual. This is a policy issue. And we think that there’s a test here of the law,’ Neal told reporters Tuesday.

‘The most important issue here is that every president since Gerald Ford has submitted their taxes,’ Neal added.

His push comes even after Democrats suffered a setback when Attorney General William Barr released a letter summarizing the Mueller report and stating there was not evidence of conspiracy or cooperation between Trump officials and the Russian government. He also declined to make a ruling on whether the president should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice, Barr wrote.

 In yet another push for documents, White House lawyers have rejected a series of requests for information by the House Oversight Committee.

‘This shifts it to the other investigations. Mueller was dealing with a very narrow area. But now we move to a much broader platform and a lot of the things that [former Trump lawyer Michael] Cohen talked about in his testimony we now have to take a look at,’ panel chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland told reporters Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Congressional investigators are keeping up their push for documents after Special Counsel Robert Mueller turned in his report

Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., talk before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing. Neal has the ability to view taxpayer returns and has requested Trump returns from the Treasury

Another Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told CNN he wasn’t worried that state and federal prosecutors in New York would find anything on the Trump Organization through their probes.

‘No, because I think the trump organization is clean. It’s a clean organization. Here’s what I really worry about as a citizen. This is like saying i’m going to go back in this man’s life, and I’m going to go back and find something he did wrong, so we can hurt him. So I don’t know how long is that going go on? We don’t do that to other presidents.’ 

‘It’s a clean organization,’ Giuliani said. 

A group of six Democratic committee chairs demanded the release of the full Mueller report and supporting documents, saying they expect to have it by April 2.

‘Your four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s review is not sufficient for Congress, as a coequal branch of government, to perform this critical work. The release of the full report and the underlying evidence and documents is urgently needed by our committees to perform their duties under the Constitution,’ the committee chairs wrote. 

Sekulow defended Trump against the Mueller probe, and is questioning the ‘legitimate’ interest in Congress seeking Trump’s tax returns

On Tax Day in 2017, one year after the first Tax March, communities across the country are taking action and speaking out against the Trump Tax

‘Those duties include evaluating the underlying facts and determining whether legislative or other reforms are required—both to ensure that the Justice Department is able to carry out investigations without interference or obstruction by the President and to protect our future elections from foreign interference.’

They wrote they expect it ‘no later’ than April 2.

The lawmakers said they had ‘no reason to question that Special Counsel Mueller made a well-considered prosecutorial judgment’ in ‘two specific and narrow areas—whether the Trump campaign conspired to join Russia’s election-related online disinformation and hacking and dissemination efforts.’

‘But it is vital for national security purposes that Congress be able to evaluate the full body of facts and evidence collected and evaluated by the Special Counsel, including all information gathered of a counterintelligence nature,’ they wrote. 

Signing on were Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler, Cummings, Neal, and three other chairs. 


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