They weren’t going to stop. Maybe we were naïve to think that the report filed by ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russian collusion would end the ongoing campaign to remove a duly elected president because Democrats think they’re entitled to win every election. Then again, maybe Democrats thought that Mueller had something they could use to impeach Trump. That didn’t happen, so now they’re throwing all the things against the wall in order to get him. Another front in this war is the president’s taxes, which he didn’t release in 2016, citing an audit. Democrats want six years worth of returns, plus those relating to his businesses. House Democrats have now filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department to turn them over (via NYT):
The House filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to force the Treasury Department to turn over President Trump’s tax returns, escalating a fight with an administration that has repeatedly dismissed as illegitimate the Democrats’ attempt to obtain Mr. Trump’s financial records.
The lawsuit moves the dispute into federal courts after months of sniping between the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee, which requested and then subpoenaed the returns, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The outcome is likely to determine whether financial information that Mr. Trump — breaking with longstanding tradition — has kept closely guarded as a candidate and as president will be viewed by Congress and, ultimately, by the public.
But with the House and the executive branch locked in a broader struggle over access to Trump administration information and witnesses, the stakes in the tax-return lawsuit may be higher than that particular issue. House Democrats are facing resistance on a broad range of investigations that include inquiries into Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian election interference, the insertion of a citizenship question into the 2020 census, and the profits gleaned from Mr. Trump’s ongoing business ventures.
In almost every instance, the Trump administration has argued that Congress’s power to access those materials is inherently limited to information that would serve “legitimate” legislative purposes — defined by the executive branch as materials primarily needed to help draft new laws.
The same dispute is at the center of a pair of lawsuits over subpoenas to accounting and banking firms for other financial records involving the Trump Organization. So far, two Federal District Court judges have rejected the argument offered by Mr. Trump’s private legal team that those requests did not carry legitimate legislative purposes. Mr. Trump has taken those losses to appeals courts.
A ruling by a federal court on the merits of the recurring dispute has the potential to shift the balance of power between the two branches and impact the authority of Congress to conduct oversight over not just Mr. Trump but presidents for years to come.
That outcome, though, could take months or years — a reality certain to frustrate liberals who are irate both at Mr. Trump’s across-the-board blockade of congressional subpoenas and at the House’s plodding pace in bringing the case to court.
The Treasury Department had declined Democratic demands for a simple reason. They know what this is all about. The Department of Justice later released a memo supporting Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s refusal to cave to Democratic demands. Then, as you can see, the courts got involved, with an Obama–appointed judge ruling, shockingly, that the accounting firm that handles the president’s taxes must fork over the documents. There’s an appeal pending. And that’s the good news, I guess. This could take a very long time. In the meantime, the Trump White House remains besieged by the unspooled masses of the Democratic Party and their minions on the Hill desperate to find anything to launch an impeachment inquiry. And we shouldn’t be shocked if that gets underway on House Judiciary in the coming weeks or months. They hate this man. They want o get him. And with a 2020 Democratic field that looks incapable of beating him, the calls for impeachment will intensify as the Left will view this as the only avenue to remove Trump.