President Donald Trump continues to hold his ground against Democratic efforts to obtain his tax returns, with one administration official telling CNN that the President and his team are willing to fight the House Democratic request all the way to the Supreme Court.
"This is a hill and people would be willing to die on it," the official said.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal formally requested six years of Trump's personal tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service in a letter Wednesday.
The official added that the administration is "not going to set the precedent" of turning over tax returns for future occupants of the Oval Office, slamming the House Democrat request from Neal as "abuse and overreach by Congress" and asked what's stopping Senate Republicans from seeking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's returns.
"They have zero right to it," the official said, who added Trump has also made it clear he's not releasing his tax returns.
Trump has retained Arlington, Virginia-based law firm Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC to represent him on the matter.
Lawyer William Consovoy argued in a statement on Friday that the requests for Trump's tax information "are not consistent with governing law, do not advance any proper legislative purpose, and threaten to interfere with the ordinary conduct of audits."
In the Wednesday request, Neal cited a little-known IRS code. Under IRS code 6103, only the Joint Committee on Taxation, the House Ways and Means chairman and the Senate Finance Committee chairman have the authority to request the tax information of an individual.
But in a detailed letter to the general counsel of the Treasury Department on Friday, Consovoy said that "the committee's authority is subject to important constraints," which, he said, citing the tax code, "extend to the ordinary taxpayer and the President alike."
Consovoy said that Neal does not have a "legitimate committee purpose" for obtaining the tax returns, adding that Neal's request "is a transparent effort by one political party to harass an official from the other party because they dislike his politics and speech."
America will never see Trump's tax returns for the same reason we'll never see the Mueller report: the information contained within it becoming public would mean the immediate end of the Trump regime. Trump will fight both until 2021, if not 2023 or more in order to save himself from being forced out of office and then facing enough NY state charges for him and his family to spend a very long time in prison. For Trump himself it would be a life sentence.
Ask not why Trump wants to fight the release. Ask why he has to stop it using any means necessary...and he will.
He doesn't have a choice.