So expect subpoenas to fly about a week afterwards.
April 10th was the original deadline House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal set for IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig to provide his committee with six years of Donald Trump's still-hidden tax returns; by law, the committee can request the tax returns of any American, including members of the administration itself, for investigative purposes.
The White House was quick, however, to indicate that they would not be following that law Because Reasons. It was Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin himself informed the committee that he would not be handing over the documents by that deadline, not because they could not be easily obtained by then but because the administration needed more time for Treasury and Justice Department lawyers to hash out some justification for refusing the request beyond Trump's own personal preference that the law be ignored outright.
So now there's a new deadline. In a Saturday letter to Rettig, Neal bats aside each of the vague half-excuses members of Team Trump have tossed out, noting that the law and precedents are both unequivocally on the side of Congress. It sets April 23rd as the new, and apparently final, date.
Please know that, if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request.
Translation: If the administration doesn't comply by the time Congress returns from recess on April 29th, it's subpoena time.
This continues to be overly generous on Neal's part; a subpoena could have been issued at any point in this process, and would have been warranted the moment Trump's cabinet weighed in to block the returns at Trump's request—or insistence. It has been reported that Neal and other House Democrats are moving cautiously so as to strengthen the all-but-certain upcoming court fight. It doesn't seem necessary. The administration is being shamelessly overt in blocking Rettig from following the law, or at least delaying compliance until the nation is in the throes of another bitter election season and the committee's investigative efforts can be passed off as mere partisan bickering. There's clearly going to be a court fight either way, and there seems no need to give Trump's lawyers more time to flounder about for a reason the underlings of Donald J. Trump need not comply with the same laws every other American is obliged to follow.