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The House Ways and Means Committee is preparing to formally ask the Internal Revenue Service for President Donald Trump's tax returns, possibly within the next few weeks, NBC News reported Friday.
The Democrat-led tax-writing committee is willing to take legal action, if necessary, to obtain copies of years of Trump's returns, congressional aides involved in the process told NBC.
Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., has reportedly directed his committee's attorneys to prepare the request, and has asked other investigative committees to draft arguments about why their probes also require viewing Trump's tax returns. Neal's committee is the only House panel with the authority to make the request.
Trump broke with long-standing precedent by refusing to release his tax returns as a presidential candidate. He claimed on multiple occasions that he was waiting for an audit to be completed — but after winning the presidency, his senior advisor, Kellyanne Conway, said Trump was "not going to release his tax returns" because "people didn't care. "
Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., a member of the Ways and Means Committee, "believes the time is now to request Trump's business and personal tax returns pursuant to Congress's clear authority under" the law, a spokesman said in a statement to CNBC.