The House’s tax-writing committee filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service for access to President Donald Trump’s tax returns, The Wall Street Journal reported. The lawsuit, filed by the the House Ways and Means Committee in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks to enforce a statute that gives Congress access to anyone’s tax returns. The lawsuit comes two months after the Democrat-led panel subpoenaed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS chief Charles Rettig to submit Trump’s personal and business returns for the last six years. The officials defied those May subpoenas, however, arguing the request to disclose Trump’s financial documents had no legitimate legislative purpose.
“In refusing to comply with the statute, Defendants have mounted an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the IRS, and the tax laws on behalf of the American people who participate in the Nation’s voluntary tax system,” the complaint states. The lawsuit also notes the committee is investigating whether the IRS has been enforcing its “self-imposed policy of annually auditing the returns of sitting presidents.” In response to the news, Jay Sekulow—one of President Trump’s personal attorneys—told the The Daily Beast the team would “respond in Court to this latest move of Presidential harassment.” Sekulow is overseeing Trump’s legal defense on this matter, and said the team would “likely” file a “motion to dismiss“ based on the argument that the Democrats’ legal action has “no legitimate legislative purpose.”