After Democrats secured at least 219 seats and ensured a majority in the House of Representatives, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., said he plans to request President Donald Trump’s tax returns, The Week magazine is reporting.
With Democrats holding a majority of the House, Neal, as the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, will become the committee’s chair and will hold power to make the formal request, the magazine reports, citing a Democratic committee source.
On Monday before Election Day, Trump addressed reporters at Fort Wayne International Airport in Indiana where he held a rally. When asked if he was concerned that the Democrats would go after his tax returns, the president shrugged it of in a characteristic manner.
“No, I don’t care. They can do whatever they want, and I can do whatever I want,” Trump told reporters, according to the White House‘s briefing posted on its website.
According to The Week, the chair of the Ways and Means Committee has the power to request anyone’s tax returns under federal law without a Senate or full House vote. The returns would not become public.
Though Neal will have the power to make that request, it is unclear whether the Trump administration would fulfill it. As the Washington Examiner reported, Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he would review such a request with the department’s legal counsel, paving the way for a potential court fight.
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) November 7, 2018
Democratic House hopefuls ran campaigns fueled by the promise that they would go after the president’s tax returns if elected. As The Examiner explains, another panel that might seek to request Trump’s tax returns is the Oversight Committee as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is set to take over the panel, and may go for president’s financial documents as well as ethical issues.
After securing a House majority, the Democrats are also set to lead another key panel. Longtime Trump critic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York was elected by members of his party to become the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Nadler could go after Trump on family separations at the southern border and gun safety under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, as The Examiner reported.
“Trump is going to learn that nobody is above the law,” Nadler was quoted as saying in the report.
The panel Nadler will lead is also traditionally the one that recommends for or against drawing up articles of impeachment, as CNBC is reporting.