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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty IMages

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal on Friday issued subpoenas to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service commissioner Charles Rettig for President Trump's personal and business tax returns from 2013 to 2018.

Details: Neal has given Mnuchin and Rettig until next Friday at 5 pm to turn over Trump's tax returns, per the Washington Post. In a statement on Friday, Neal wrote: "On April 3, I requested six years of the President's personal and business tax returns... Unfortunately, the Treasury Department and the IRS have denied my reasonable request. Despite the agency's denial, we on the Ways and Means Committee are still moving forward with our inquiry."

The backdrop: The action follows months of conflict between Trump and Congress, as Democrats seek to gain access to the president's financial records. The subpoenas also come just days after the New York Times published an article detailing a decade of Trump's tax returns between the 1980s and '90s.

  • Neal first asked for 6 years of Trump's business and personal tax returns on April 3, per the Washington Post.
  • Trump said he would not release his tax returns while they are under audit, even though Rettig confirmed there is no law that prohibits the release.
  • The Treasury Department failed to meet the deadline set by House Democrats, with Mnuchin saying the request "raises serious issues concerning the constitutional investigative authority" of Congress.
  • House Democrats set a new deadline for Trump's tax returns on April 23, to which the White House did not comply.
  • Meanwhile, California and New York's state legislative bodies have been trying to pass bills that would pressure Trump to release his tax returns if he wants to appear on the 2020 ballot.

The catch: While House Democrats can subpoena whomever they want, the subpoenas are difficult to enforce.

What to watch: These subpoenas are part of an intensifying fight between the White House and House Democrats over a variety of issues. The White House has tried to invoke executive privilege to stop Trump's former counsel from giving records to Congress, per the Washington Post.

Go deeper: How Trump can stall House Democrats

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.

Australian Open organizers reverse "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirt ban

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai during the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Bai Xue/Xinhua via Getty Images

Australian Open organizers on Tuesday reversed a ban on t-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai following widespread criticism.

Why it matters: Tennis Australia's announcement came less than 24 hours after the governing body defended the decision to ask fans last Friday to remove "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirts, citing ticket policy prohibiting political clothing, per the BBC.