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House Democrats to seek Trump's tax returns, Pelosi says

Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will begin to seek U.S. President Donald Trump's tax returns when they take control of the House of Representatives in January.

Incoming Speaker also says president mum on measures to avoid shutdown

U.S. House Democrats will 'take the first steps' to obtain Donald Trump's tax returns come January, incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will begin to seek U.S. President Donald Trump's tax returns when they take control of the House of Representatives in January.

The House ways and means committee will "take the first steps," said Pelosi, who has the backing of her members to become the next Speaker of the U.S. House in January.

"There is popular demand for the Congress to request the president's tax returns," she said, speaking to reporters. "I'm sure the White House will resist, so the question is where do we go from there."

Trump defied decades of tradition when he refused to release his tax records while running for president and after taking office. There is no law or rule compelling a president or candidate to do so, but nearly every nominee and president since 1976 has done so.

Democrats have argued that Trump's tax returns are crucial in determining whether his sprawling business operations present a conflict of interest. Trump opted not to divest from his business, but turned over control of day-to-day operations to his sons Donald Jr. and Eric.

Several committees expected to investigate Trump could find use for the returns. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Pelosi's remarks.

Pelosi also said that Trump has not answered Democrats' budget compromise proposals on measures to keep the federal government open.

Trump said on Tuesday he would be proud to shut down the federal government if Democrats don't agree to fund border security, namely his proposed wall.

"Let's hope that there won't be a shutdown of the government," Pelosi said. "That's a very bad thing to do. Maybe the president doesn't grasp that, but that is very harmful to our country."

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