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By Leigh Ann Caldwell, Alex Moe and Kalhan Rosenblatt

House Democrats have given the Internal Revenue Service a new deadline to hand over President Donald Trump’s tax returns days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his department would miss the original deadline of April 10.

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig sent Saturday by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., Democrats gave a second and final deadline of April 23 for six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. The lawmakers could go to court to seek the returns if the IRS does not turn them over.

“To date, the IRS has failed to provide the requested return and return information despite an unambiguous legal obligation to do so … Please know that, if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request,” Neal wrote in the letter.

The letter also states that there is “no valid basis to question the legitimacy of the Committee’s legislative purpose,” citing Supreme Court instructions that Congress’ power to investigate is “broad.”

“It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury, or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the Committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns and return information,” Neal wrote.

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took issue with Neal’s characterization of the dispute.

“These are complicated legal issues and I think it is more important to the American taxpayers that we get this right than we hit an arbitrary deadline,” Mnuchin told reporters, according to the Associated Press. “I would just emphasize this is a decision that has enormous precedence in terms of potentially weaponizing the IRS.”

Mnuchin said that Treasury Department lawyers have been working “diligently” to research the issues involved and have been in contact with Justice Department attorneys. He said he thought Neal was just picking arbitrary deadline and refused to speculate how the administration would proceed if the issue goes to court.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., notified his committee on Friday that he would be subpoenaing Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for the president’s financial statements. The subpoena is another avenue Democrats are pursuing to obtain Trump’s financial information.

In the memo, Cummings said he intended to issue the subpoena, which request documents between 2011 and 2018, on Monday.

The Ways and Means Committee first sent a formal request to the Treasury Department for Trump’s tax returns on April 3, giving the department a deadline of April 10 to produce the documents.

“I today submitted to IRS Commissioner Rettig my request for six years of the president’s personal tax returns as well as the returns for some of his business entities. We have completed the necessary groundwork for a request of this magnitude and I am certain we are within our legitimate legislative, legal, and oversight rights,” Neal said in a statement.

But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pushed back on the request, saying his department would be unable to meet the deadline.

In a letter to Neal, Mnuchin said the Treasury was continuing to review Democrats’ request in light of “serious issues” about whether the request is proper.

“The legal implications of this request could affect protections for all Americans against politically motivated disclosures of personal tax information, regardless of which party is in power,” Mnuchin wrote, saying he was consulting with the Justice Department about the legality and constitutionality of Neal’s request.



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Brexiteer MP launches astonishing attack at Remoaner Hammond – ‘Coalition of chaos!’

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BREXITEER MP Andrew Bridgen has used his BBC Newsnight appearance to launch a scathing attack on former Chancellor Philip Hammond.

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Over half of House Democrats favor Trump impeachment inquiry: Full list

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By Alex Moe and Kyle Stewart

Here are the 123 House Democrats — more than half the 235-member caucus — who support impeachment or beginning an impeachment inquiry. The list includes 17 of the 24 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, where impeachment proceedings would begin. One independent, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, also favors starting an inquiry, bringing the total number of House members who back that move to 124.

Democrats:

  1. Alma Adams, N.C.
  2. Peter Aguilar, Calif.
  3. Nanette Barragán, Calif.
  4. Joyce Beatty, Ohio
  5. Don Beyer, Va.
  6. Earl Blumenauer, Ore.
  7. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Del.
  8. Suzanne Bonamici, Ore.
  9. Brendan Boyle, Penn.
  10. Julia Brownley, D-Calif.
  11. G.K. Butterfield, N.C.
  12. Salud Carbajal, Calif.
  13. Tony Cardenas, Calif.
  14. Andre Carson, Ind.
  15. Sean Casten, Ill.
  16. Joaquin Castro, Texas
  17. Judy Chu, Calif.
  18. David Cicilline, R.I. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  19. Katherine Clark, Mass. (Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus)
  20. Yvette Clarke, N.Y.
  21. William Lacy Clay, Mo.
  22. Emanuel Cleaver, Mo.
  23. Steve Cohen, Tenn. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  24. Gerry Connolly, Va. (Chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee)
  25. Jason Crow, Colo.
  26. Danny K. Davis, Ill.
  27. Madeleine Dean, Penn. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  28. Peter DeFazio, Oregon (Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
  29. Diana DeGette, Colo.
  30. Suzan Del Bene, Wa.
  31. Val Demings, Fla. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  32. Mark DeSaulnier, Calif.
  33. Ted Deutch, Fla. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee, chairman of House Ethics Committee)
  34. Lloyd Doggett, Texas
  35. Mike Doyle, Penn.
  36. Eliot Engel, N.Y. (Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee)
  37. Veronica Escobar, Texas (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  38. Adriano Espaillat, N.Y.
  39. Dwight Evans, Penn.
  40. Marcia Fudge, Ohio
  41. Ruben Gallego, Ariz.
  42. John Garamendi, Calif.
  43. Jesús García, Ill.
  44. Jimmy Gomez, Calif.
  45. Al Green, Texas
  46. Raul Grijalva, Ariz. (Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee)
  47. Deb Haaland, N.M.
  48. Denny Heck, Wa.
  49. Brian Higgins, N.Y.
  50. Jim Himes, Conn.
  51. Jared Huffman, Calif.
  52. Sheila Jackson Lee, Tex. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  53. Pramila Jayapal, Wash. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  54. Robin Kelly, Ill.
  55. Joe Kennedy III, Mass.
  56. Ro Khanna, Calif.
  57. Dan Kildee, Mich. (chief deputy whip of House Democratic caucus)
  58. Derek Kilmer, Wa.
  59. Ann Kirkpatrick, Ariz.
  60. Annie Kuster, N.H.
  61. Rick Larsen, Washington
  62. Brenda Lawrence, Mich.
  63. Barbara Lee, Calif.
  64. Andy Levin, Mich.
  65. Mike Levin, Calif.
  66. Ted Lieu, Calif. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  67. Alan Lowenthal, Calif.
  68. Nita Lowey, N.Y. (Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee)
  69. Tom Malinowski, N.J.
  70. Carolyn Maloney, N.Y.
  71. Doris Matsui, Calif.
  72. Betty McCollum, Minn.
  73. Jim McGovern, Mass. (Chairman of the House Rules Committee)
  74. Grace Meng, N.Y.
  75. Gwen Moore, Wis.
  76. Seth Moulton, Mass.
  77. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Fla. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  78. Jerrold Nadler, N.Y. (Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee)
  79. Grace Napolitano, Calif.
  80. Joe Neguse, Colo. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  81. Donald Norcross, N.J.
  82. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, N.Y.
  83. Ilhan Omar, Minn.
  84. Christopher Pappas, N.H.
  85. Bill Pascrell, N.J.
  86. Donald Payne, N.J.
  87. Scott Peters, Calif.
  88. Chellie Pingree, Me.
  89. Mark Pocan, Wis.
  90. Katie Porter, Calif.
  91. Ayanna Pressley, Mass.
  92. David Price, N.C.
  93. Mike Quigley, Ill.
  94. Jamie Raskin, Md. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  95. Kathleen Rice, N.Y.
  96. Cedric Richmond, La. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  97. Harley Rouda, Calif.
  98. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Calif.
  99. Bobby Rush, Ill.
  100. Tim Ryan, Ohio
  101. Mary Gay Scanlon, Penn. (Vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee)
  102. Jan Schakowsky, Ill.
  103. Kim Schrier, Wa.
  104. Jose Serrano, N.Y.
  105. Brad Sherman, Calif.
  106. Adam Smith, Washington (Chairman of the Armed Services Committee)
  107. Jackie Speier, Calif.
  108. Greg Stanton, Arizona (Member of the House Judiciary Committee)
  109. Eric Swalwell, Calif. (Member of the House Judiciary Committee, member of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence)
  110. Bennie Thompson, Miss. (Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee)
  111. Dina Titus, Nev.
  112. Rashida Tlaib, Mich.
  113. Paul Tonko, N.Y.
  114. Norma Torres, Calif.
  115. Lori Trahan, D-Mass.
  116. Juan Vargas, Calif.
  117. Filemon Vela, Texas
  118. Nydia Velazquez, N.Y. (Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee)
  119. Maxine Waters, Calif. (Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee)
  120. Bonnie Watson-Coleman, N.J.
  121. Pete Welch, Vermont
  122. Jennifer Wexton, Va.
  123. John Yarmuth, Ky. (Chairman of the House Budget Committee)

Others:

  1. Justin Amash, I-Mich.

Dartunorro Clark contributed.



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Jeffrey Epstein’s body claimed by unidentified ‘associate’

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Jeffrey Epstein’s body has been claimed from the New York City medical examiner’s office, a source close to the investigation told NBC News on Wednesday.

Epstein, 66, was found dead by apparent suicide Saturday morning in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. The center’s warden has been temporarily reassigned, and the two guards assigned to watch Epstein have been placed on leave.

Epstein wasn’t on suicide watch at the time of his death, multiple people familiar with the investigation have told NBC News. Attorney General William Barr has said that he was “appalled” by the development and that he has consulted with the Justice Department’s inspector general, who is also investigating.

The person who claimed Epstein’s body was described only as an “Epstein associate.”

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After Epstein was arrested last month on charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, his attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Richard Berman to allow Epstein to post bond secured by a mortgage on his home in Manhattan.

According to court documents, they said the bond would have been co-secured by his brother, Mark Epstein, and a friend identified as David Mitchell.

Berman denied bond on July 18. About a week later, Epstein was found injured and in a fetal position in his cell, raising questions at the time of whether he had tried to kill himself.

Alex Johnson contributed.



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