Mnuchin Tells House Panel He’ll ‘Follow the Law’ on Trump Tax Returns

April 9, 2019 by Dan McCue
Steven Mnuchin, United States Secretary of the Treasury, in the White House Press Briefing room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on January 28, 2019. (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/TNS)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a House subcommittee Tuesday that his department intends to “follow the law” and is reviewing a request from the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to provide six years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns to lawmakers.

Mnuchin also told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government that Treasury Department lawyers have consulted with the White House counsel’s office about the question of releasing Trump’s returns.

However, he said, these conversations were “informational” and occurred before Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., requested the returns last week.

“Our legal department has had conversations prior to receiving the letter with the White House general counsel,” Mnuchin said. “I acknowledge there were conversations. I am not briefed on the full extent of those conversations.”

He went on to say he has not discussed Neal’s request with the president or top White House staff.

“It is our intent to follow the law and that is in the process of being reviewed,” Mnuchin said.

Neal gave Mnuchin until Wednesday to provide the tax returns, a deadline the Treasury Department now appears certain to miss.

On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the host of “Fox News Sunday” that House Democrats will “never” see the president’s tax returns.

“So to be clear, you believe Democrats will never see the president’s tax returns?” the show’s host asked.

“Oh no, never. Nor should they, keep in mind that’s an issue that was already litigated during the [2016] election. Voters knew they [wouldn’t see] his tax returns and they elected him anyway,” Mulvaney said.

Trump has broken with tradition by not voluntarily releasing his tax returns. He has consistently maintained that he’s under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, and therefore he can’t release them.

Representative Neal requested six years of Trump’s personal and business returns , relying on a statute that says the Treasury Department “shall furnish” them when requested. The IRS is part of the Treasury Department.

When pressed by House Democrats Wednesday on if and when the returns will be released, Mnuchin appeared to push back, noting that “The general public when they elected President Trump made the decision to elect him without his tax returns being released.”

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