Vox Sentences: “Always under audit”

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Democrats may take President Trump to court over his tax returns; the US pulls troops from Libya as the country edges to the brink of civil war.


The legal battle for Trump’s tax returns

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
  • The fight over releasing President Trump’s tax returns will likely end up in court. The chair of the House Ways and Means Committee formally asked the IRS for Trump’s tax returns last week. Over the weekend, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made it clear the administration has no plans to comply. [Vox / Emily Stewart]
  • Though Democrats have targeted Trump’s tax returns since the 2016 election, this is the first time they have made a formal request to obtain them. With Democratic Rep. Richard Neal now in charge of the committee, they are bringing back an obscure law that gives the chair the power to seek anyone’s tax records. [WSJ / Richard Rubin]
  • Although the law has existed for almost 100 years, this is the first time it has been enacted, and there is no precedent for what will happen next. While the due date for the tax returns is Wednesday, the chance is slim that the Treasury will oblige, potentially leading to a lengthy legal battle. [ABC News / Jordyn Phelps]
  • Meanwhile, New York lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would give them access to Trump’s state tax returns, which will likely contain similar information as their federal counterparts. [NYT / Jesse McKinley]
  • In response to the request, Trump’s lawyers wrote a letter to the Department of the Treasury’s counsel on Friday asking them to dismiss Democrats’ request, calling it “unconstitutional retaliation against the President.” [USA Today / Christal Hayes]
  • Trump says he can’t release his returns because he’s being audited, a claim he’s made since the 2016 campaign. (No such prohibition exists.) Mulvaney is now saying Democrats will “never” see the tax returns and that the issue was already addressed during his campaign. [Vox / Aaron Rupar]
  • As much as Trump’s administration is trying to downplay the situation, people want to see the president’s tax returns — 60 percent of Americans, to be exact. [Washington Post / Colby Itkowitz]

The US pulls troops from Libya

  • The US has removed troops from Libya amid unrest in the capital of Tripoli as Gen. Khalifa Haftar pushed to expand his domain from eastern Libya to the rest of the country. [Vox / Amanda Sakuma]
  • Libya has been in a state of unrest since its 2011 uprising. Haftar is trying to seize military control before the United Nations convenes discussions next week about elections in the country. [AP / Rami Musa and Samy Magdy]
  • Haftar’s strike led to 21 deaths and 90 injuries. The UN called for a temporary ceasefire to evacuate the injured as the fight neared the capital. Those calls were ignored. [Guardian / Patrick Wintour and Chris Stephen]
  • Since Muammar Qaddafi was ousted, Libya has lacked a central government. Instead, different regions have their own militias. The US backs a UN attempt to create a unified government, but France and the United Arab Emirates, among others, support aspiring strongman Haftar. [NYT / David D. Kirkpatrick]

Miscellaneous

  • Amid rising rents, Berliners are protesting in the streets. They want landlords who have more than 3,000 properties to hand the holdings over to the government to be turned into affordable housing. [Euronews / Shafi Musaddique]
  • Homecoming, about Beyoncé’s iconic performance at Coachella in 2018, is coming to Netflix on April 17. Be ready. [Wired / Angela Watercutter]
  • The small Italian town of Sutera was revitalized after it began welcoming immigrants. But Italy’s anti-immigrant policies may threaten this progress. [Vice / Cosimo Bizzarri]
  • Three years ago, a British woman called her ex-husband’s new wife a “horse” on Facebook. Now she’s facing possible jail time in Dubai. [Time / Hillary Leung]
  • A woman who died at age 99 was found to have had her organs in the wrong places her whole life. [CNN / Sandee LaMotte]

Verbatim

“The law is crystal clear and brokers no exceptions. We are prepared legally and morally to get the #TrumpTaxReturns If they want a fight, they’ll get a fight.” [Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) on House Democrats’ decision to request Trump’s taxes]


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