Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he will defy House Democrats’ subpoena for Trump’s tax returns

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he will defy House Democrats’ subpoena for Trump’s tax returns

May 17, 2019 Off By readly

Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary, listens during a Senate Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee hearing in Washington D.C., U.S., on May 15, 2019.

Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that he will not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats to share six years of President Donald Trump’s federal tax returns with Congress.

“In reliance on the advice of the Department of justice, we have determined that the Committee’s request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose, and pursuant to [federal tax code] section 6103, the Department is therefore not authorized to disclose the requested returns and return information,” Mnuchin wrote in a letter to Neal on Friday.

“For the same reasons, we are unable to provide the requested information in response to the Committee’s subpoena.”

With the subpoenas’ deadline set to expire at 5 p.m. ET, the tug-of-war between congressional Democrats and the Treasury Department over Trump’s tax returns enters a new phase — and likely a new branch of government.

Mnuchin and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., have both signaled that a court fight over the president’s tax returns is imminent.

Hours before the deadline, Neal told reporters on Capitol Hill that if Mnuchin and Rettig blew off the subpoenas, “the result will be that we will likely proceed to court as quickly as next week.”

It would be better to turn to the courts to try and hash out the “difference in interpretation” between Democrats and the Trump administration, Mnuchin said at a Senate hearing Wednesday. “This is why there are three branches of government, so if there is a difference of opinion this will go to the third branch of government to be resolved.”

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 15: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Retting speaks to reporters after leaving a Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

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