Mnuchin postpones decision on handing over Trump tax returns

Neal, D-Mass., argues that a 1920-era law saying the IRS "shall furnish" any tax return requested by Congress "is unambiguous and raises no complicated legal issues" and that the Treasury Department's objections lack merit.

Asked about the letter Saturday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would respond to within the new deadline set by Neal but he did not promise to produce Trump's tax returns by that time.

If Rettig fails to respond, Neal says that'll be interpreted as denying the request, which could pave the way for a court battle.

Citing the White House's "stonewalling" of a request by congressional Democrats to obtain President Trump's tax returns, Democratic lawmakers in New York's state legislature are spearheading a new effort to try to release the president's state tax information to Congress.

Mnuchin, as head of the Treasury, would become a sitting target for criminal charges if he does not comply with demands for Trump's tax returns by the deadline, according to The Daily Beast.

The Treasury Department has missed a deadline to deliver President Donald Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee chairman. "The Committee's request raises serious issues concerning the constitutional scope of Congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the asserted legislative objective, and the constitutional rights of American citizens".

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The response by Rep. Richard Neal, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, comes after the administration asked for more time to consider his initial request last week.

"It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury, or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the Committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns", continued Neal.

"If you want to run for vice president or president of the United States, hey, what's wrong with providing your tax returns for the past five years?"

The issue appears sure to end up in federal court. But Republicans have dismissed his request as political and unprecedented.

Constitutionally, Neal has the power to demand the IRS release tax returns for any USA individual. The IRS says there's no rule against subjects of an audit from publicly releasing their tax filings. Neal also could seek the returns through a subpoena.

In his letter, Consovoy said that Neal "cannot legally request" the information as the tax code guards taxpayer privacy with the exception of certain conditions - which he says are not met. Antonio Muñoz, would require any candidate for president or vice president to release the most recent five years of their tax returns to have their name on the general election ballot.

  • Sonia Alvarado