Treasury Secretary Mnuchin rejects Democrats' demand for President Trump's taxes

08 Mai, 2019, 19:54 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a House committee in April

A defiant looking US President Donald Trump has refused to provide his tax returns.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal saying that the committee's request "lacks a legitimate legislative objective".

Neal said he was not suprised by how the administration has responded to his requests.

He also sent a follow-up letter demanding that Treasury comply with the request no later than April 23.

"I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response", the chairman said. But Mnuchin has said repeatedly that their request for these records could be an invasion of Trump's privacy and become a fishing expedition. He repeated that claim Wednesday in response to Neal's letter.

"The Department of Justice has informed us that it intends to memorialize its advice in a published legal opinion as soon as practicable".

"The statute is very clear and seems like very strong support for what Mr. Neal is trying to do", George K. Yin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, told Roll Call last month.

Democratic State Senator Brad Hoylman said the State Senate now has enough votes to pass a bill allowing the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to release any state tax returns sought by a leader of one three congressional panels for any "specified and legitimate legislative objective".

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Mr. Trump has argued that the request was an example of presidential harassment by House Democrats, who have been investigating his business dealings since taking power this year.

The statute says that the secretary of the Treasury "shall furnish" it.

Pursuant to 26 U.S.C.

Consovoy wrote that Neal's request for the tax returns flouts "fundamental constitutional constraints", is driven by an intent to score political points, and would set a unsafe precedent if complied with. United States, a 1957 case dealing with a union officials conviction for contempt of Congress. Congress must be engaged in legitimate oversight for the objective of lawmaking, according to several legal briefs.

"Today, Secretary Mnuchin notified me that the IRS will not provide the documents I requested under Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code", Neal said.

The Committee's options at this point lie in one of two directions. If the Treasury does not comply with that subpoena, House Democrats will likely file a lawsuit to obtain the information.

Earlier in April, Trump retweeted video footage that shows Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) saying in an interview, "There's no law that says they have to be public", referring to Trump's tax returns.

As a matter of law, it is hard to say at this point what the "right" answer is to the legal issues here.

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