IRS Memo: Trump's Tax Returns Must Be Turned Over If Congress Asks

23 Mai, 2019, 03:21 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee he has never discussed with President Donald Trump "or anyone in the White House about delivering the president's tax returns to Congress", Axios is reporting.

Mnuchin has been resisting House Democrats' request for Trump's tax returns on the grounds that such request "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose" and said his department will not "disclose the requested returns and return information".

In response to the leaked memo, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)-a member of the House Ways and Means Committee-said in a statement that Congress must take action, including possible imprisonment of Mnuchin, in the face of the Trump administration's refusal to comply with the law. So I would not describe it as I've reviewed it, ' he said.

The draft memo, revealed by the Washington Post, was unequivocal.

"The secretary's obligation to disclose return and return information would not be affected by the failure of a tax-writing committee.to state a reason for the request", it says, according to the Post. The reason why he does not want us to see his tax returns is likely because he wants to keep his business network hidden-perhaps due to the fact that one of his businesses was hit with what was at the time, the largest anti-money laundering fine ever given out to a casino, and Trump Taj Mahal admitted to "long standing anti-money laundering violations". But that would not prevent Trump from releasing them if he so chose.

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The memo reflects the language of the Internal Revenue Code, which states that the IRS "shall" furnish the information upon request.

Executive privilege, as defined by Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute, is "the privilege that allows the president and other high officials of the executive branch to keep certain communications private if disclosing those communications would disrupt the functions or decision-making processes of the executive branch".

Some legal scholars have said that the request needs a legislative goal, although the law does not state that outright.

'We're trying to find out who wrote the memo, where it came from, when it was and why it wasn't distributed, ' he added. "It even says the law 'might be read to preclude a claim of executive privilege, ' meaning the law could be interpreted as saying executive privilege cannot be invoked to deny a subpoena".

'I've been advised I am not violating the law, ' he said.

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