U.S. House panel sues U.S. Treasury, IRS over Trump's tax returns

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) - A House of Representatives panel filed suit on Tuesday against the U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, as it wrangled to obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns.

The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Treasury Department refused a request for tax information about the Republican president.

"In refusing to comply with the statute, Defendants have mounted an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the IRS, and the tax laws on behalf of the American people," the lawsuit said. 

RELATED: Take a look at the U.S. state where Americans pay the highest tax returns: 

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States where Americans pay the highest in state income taxes
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States where Americans pay the highest in state income taxes

California

State income tax: 1% to 13.3% 

Maine

State income tax: 5.8% to 10.15%

Oregon

State income tax: 5% to 9.9%

Minnesota

State income tax: 5.35% to 9.85%

Iowa

State income tax: 0.36% to 8.98%

New Jersey

State income tax: 1.4% to 8.97%

Vermont

State income tax: 3.55% to 8.95%

Washington, DC

State income tax: 4% to 8.95%

New York

State income tax: 4% to 8.82%

Hawaii

State income tax: 1.4% to 8.25%

Wisconsin

State income tax: 4% to 7.65%

Idaho

State income tax: 1.6% to 7.4%

South Carolina

State income tax: 0% to 7%

Connecticut

State income tax: 3% to 6.99%

Arkansas

State income tax: 0.9% to 6.9%

Montana

State income tax: 1% to 6.9%

Nebraska

State income tax: 2.46% to 6.84%

Delaware

State income tax: 2.2% to 6.6%

West Virginia

State income tax: 3% to 6.5%

Georgia

State income tax: 1% to 6%

Kentucky

State income tax: 2% to 6%

Louisiana

State income tax: 2% to 6%

Missouri

State income tax: 1.5% to 6%

Rhode Island

State income tax: 3.75% to 5.99%

Maryland

State income tax: 2% to 5.75%

North Carolina

State income tax: 5.75%

Virginia

State income tax: 2% to 5.75%

Oklahoma

State income tax: 0.5% to 5.25%

Massachusetts

State income tax: 5.1%

Alabama

State income tax: 2% to 5%

Mississippi

State income tax: 3% to 5%

Utah

State income tax: 5%

Ohio

State income tax: 0.495% to 4.997%

New Mexico

State income tax: 1.7% to 4.9%

Colorado

State income tax: 4.63%

Kansas

State income tax: 2.7% to 4.6%

Arizona

State income tax: 2.59% to 4.54%

Michigan

State income tax: 4.25%

Illinois

State income tax: 3.75%

Indiana

State income tax: 3.3%

Pennsylvania

State income tax: 3.07%

North Dakota

State income tax: 1.1% to 2.9%

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The lawsuit said the committee believes it was the first time an administration has denied such a request.

The committee is one of half a dozen that are conducting investigations involving Trump and his administration, from his campaign's contacts with Russians during the 2016 presidential race to the sprawling business interests he has not divested since taking office.

The White House is refusing to cooperate with most of them, setting up potential legal battles like this one.

Democrats have pressed Trump to release tax records from 2013 to 2018, which legal experts said could shed light on the president’s business dealings. Such a legal process, experts said, could unfold slowly and become an issue in the 2020 election.

The lawsuit, which also names Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said the administration's continued refusal to produce the materials "is depriving the Committee of information necessary to complete its time-limited investigation, thereby impeding its most basic constitutional functions."

It asked the court to force the administration to comply. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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