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Congressional Democrats exploring ways to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns may target the adequacy of the Internal Revenue Service audit that Trump often cites as his reason for not making the returns public, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Such a strategy, focused more on the IRS than on Trump, could help Democrats craft an iron-clad legal argument for what would likely follow from such a request – an unprecedented court battle over the tax records of a sitting president.

Targeting the audit would put the request for the returns squarely within the oversight authority of the House of Representatives’ tax committee, which oversees the IRS, and deflect Republican accusations of a fishing expedition by Democrats unfairly targeting the president, the sources said.

House tax committee Chairman Richard Neal, who has vowed to request Trump’s returns, said this week that the long-standing audit claim could be the basis on which the committee ultimately decides whether to go to court to obtain the returns.


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