Where investigations related to President Donald Trump stand and what may lie ahead for him:
What you need to know
A top House Democrat on Saturday ratcheted up his demand for access to President Donald Trump’s tax returns, telling the IRS that the law clearly gives Congress a right to them. The government’s failure to respond by an April 23 deadline could send the dispute into federal court.
Trump’s treasury chief, who oversees the IRS, cited “complicated legal issues” and bemoaned “an arbitrary deadline” set by Congress, while saying he would answer in that time frame.
A new letter by Rep. Richard Neal, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, comes after the Trump administration asked for more time to consider his initial request last week. Neal had requested six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns.
Neal, D-Mass., argues that a 1920-era law saying the IRS “shall furnish” any tax return requested by Congress “is unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues” and that the Treasury Department’s objections lack merit.
The letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig is the latest exchange in a tug of war over Trump’s returns, which would give lawmakers far greater insight into the president’s business dealings and potential conflicts of interest as it exercises its oversight role.
Did the Trump campaign collude with Russia?
According to Mueller, the answer is no.
In his letter dated March 24, Barr quotes from Mueller’s report saying the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
The letter does not detail what Mueller learned about a broad range of Trump associates who had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period. It also doesn’t answer why several of those people lied to federal investigators or Congress during the Russia probe.
Barr is confronting concerns that his four-page letter unduly sanitized the full report in Trump’s favor, including on the key question of whether the president obstructed justice. House Democrats have approved subpoenas for Mueller’s entire report and any exhibits and other underlying evidence that the Justice Department might withhold.
Is Trump out of the woods?
Trump also plays a central role in a separate case in New York, where prosecutors have implicated him in a crime. They say Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make illegal hush-money payments to two women as a way to quash potential sex scandals during the campaign. New York prosecutors also are looking into Trump’s inaugural fund.
Congressional investigations also are swirling around the president. Democrats have launched a sweeping probe of Trump, an aggressive investigation that threatens to shadow the president through the 2020 election season.