Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal sent the IRS a request for Trump tax information on April 3, citing a portion of the IRS Code giving certain committees authority to access "any return or return information".
Neal, D-Mass., argues that a 1920-era law saying the IRS "shall furnish" any tax return requested by Congress "is unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues" and that the Treasury Department's objections lack merit.
Neal asked the IRS last Wednesday to turn over six years of Trump's tax returns within a week.
"Please know that, if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request", Neal wrote to Rettig three days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration would miss Neal's original April 10 deadline as he consulted with the Department of Justice.
"It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury, or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the committee", Neal writes in his letter.
"Judicial precedent commands that none of the concerns raised can legitimately be used to deny the committee's request". Mnuchin so far has only postponed responding to Democrats' request and said he would confer with the Justice Department, but not yet rejected it.
U.S. House panel subpoenas Trump aides, Mueller probe
I'm less frustrated than Mueller's team that the Barr summary of the legal findings was to President Trump's early political advantage.
"As the letter hints, Congress has broad powers and they're acting for proper purposes and usually the mental thoughts of the legislature don't negate the validity of the inquiry, but the question here is, are they in fact pursing a legitimate objective?" he said in an interview with Law&Crime.
Neal said that the Committee is "considering legislative proposals and conducting oversight related to our Federal tax laws, including, but not limited to, the extent to which the IRS audits and enforces the Federal tax laws against a President".
Mr Trump himself has claimed that he can not release his tax returns because they are under audit, although technically there is nothing preventing him from doing so.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Illinois is one of 18 states nationwide considering legislation on Trump's tax returns, which also includes New York, Colorado and Washington.
Members of the Trump administration, including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and their allies have called the request a political attack and a violation of Trump's privacy. Antonio Muñoz, would require any candidate for president or vice president to release the most recent five years of their tax returns to have their name on the general election ballot.
One of Mr Trump's top aides said last week that the Democrats would "never" see his tax returns.
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