On Tuesday, Politico reported that House Democrats received a tip from a whistleblower about possible misconduct at the Internal Revenue Service in audits of presidential tax returns — and plan to use this revelation to bolster their legal case for obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
In a federal court motion, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), who is seeking the president’s tax returns, included a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from earlier this month, informing him that the committee received an “undisclosed communication … from a Federal employee setting forth credible allegations of ‘evidence of possible misconduct’ — specifically, potential ‘inappropriate attempts to influence the mandatory audit program.'”
Trump’s attorneys have argued that the House’s request for his tax returns is invalid because it does not serve a purpose beyond embarrassing the president — but the whistleblower’s allegations, Democrats argue, are clear grounds for oversight.
The case is being overheard by District Judge Carl Nichols — himself a Trump appointee. Nichols is also overseeing a lawsuit by Trump to stop the state of New York from using a newly-passed law to render the president’s state tax returns to the House, which is temporarily on hold.