McCarthy reacted during his weekly news conference at the news that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has now formally requested the President's tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service by accusing the committee of having "attacked the IRS to attack" political opponents. "" 19659002 "Not only is it a waste of time, the sets and dangerous standard of having the federal government used as a political weapon," McCarthy warned.
McCarthy argued that Democrats have not accepted Trump's victory in "The Democrats decided the day after the election that they would not accept," he said. "What do they do now? They use the power of government, the fear that every American has that government has become so strong they go after you because they don't politically agree with you. It's wrong. I want to go to people's reports, because I have not been able to deal with them? "
McCarthy is the tax return request as" all about politics, "contradicting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments earlier in the day when she defended the effort as "a policy matter."
Trump himself sidedstepped a question Thursday afternoon about whether he'll tell the commissioner of the IRS not comply with the congressional request for his tax returns.
"They'll speak to my lawyers and they'll speak to the attorney general, "Trump customs reporters from the Oval Office.
House Democrats defend the request
Pelosi and other Democrats have argued that the tax return is a matter of necessary congressional oversight of the executive branch and that Democrats are on solid legal ground in making the request.
"The law is very clear," Pelosi said during her own news conference on Thursday. "The law says that upon request from the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means or the chairman of (Senate) Finance or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation …
The House Democratic leader added that Neal has been "very thoughtful" in his actions.
"The President and the Vice President are audited, that's what happens, "Pelosi added. "Congress has an oversight to see that is happening, if it has happened and how it has happened, and that is the policy aspect of this."
Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, made a very different argument on Thursday, telling reporters that he believes the request "violates the law," is "an abuse of the committee's authority" and "should be withdrawn. "
Brady said that he believes the chairman's request for the President's tax returns is" another step in the Democrats' misguided rush to impeachment. "" Civil liberties and privacy still matters in America. No party at any Congress "It should have the authority to rummage around in tax returns purely for political reasons and if they can do that to the President, what stops them from doing that to any political enemy," Brady said. Echoing McCarthy, he added, "That's the dangerous precedent that comes when you weaponize the tax code." Neal duty reporters on Thursday that he took roughly three months to build the case for requesting the returns, which he argued was reasonable given. The gravity of the request.
"This was a very reasoned approach. Our position from day one was that this would be measured," Neal said. "This is likely to wind its way through the federal court system and we wanted to make sure that the case that we constructed was in fact one that would stand up under the critical scrutiny of the federal courts."
Key Senate Republican argues Democrats for "bring this President down"
In a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Senate Finance chairman, however, accused of being disengaged in their rationale for why they wanted the returns.
Neal has said he wants to investigate the presidential audit program, but Grassley argued that the request is just an excuse to get trumps tax information because of a "desire" on the part of democrats "to use all of the resources that their disposal to find something ̵
"Democrats say they're President Trump, "Grassley said, adding," It's motivated by the Democrats' intense dislike of this president. they thought they'd easily win. It's motivated by their desire to use all of the resources that their disposal to find something – anything – to bring this President down. " tax returns as Neal does, but has said it doesn't plan to return for the returns unless Neal actually got something.
Some congressional republicans have expressed support for the idea of the President releasing his returns, however, on Thursday if every 2020 candidate, including Trump, should release their tax returns, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said: "Yes."
When pressed on the House Democratic effort to request the returns, Cruz said, "Of course it is political and House Democrats are attacking President Trump across the board, but yes, candidates for president should release their tax returns. I've said that for a long time. "
CNN's Phil Mattingly and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.