Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Democrats in Congress on Thursday that he won’t speculate on whether or not his agency will release Donald Trump’s tax returns, Politico is reporting. Instead, he said only that he would “follow the law.”
Mnuchin was brought before the House Ways and Means Committee to answer a host of questions about various topics, and the topic that appeared to be first on the Committee’s mind was that of Trump’s tax returns. Specifically, Congress would like to see them, but Trump doesn’t want them released.
Mnuchin was circumspect about whether or not that would happen.
“I will consult with the legal department within Treasury and I will follow the law. I can’t speculate on the request until I see it. We will follow the law and we will protect the president as we would protect any individual taxpayer under their rights.”
Taxpayers, whether public officials or private citizens, can generally expect their tax returns to be kept private, only released on a court order. However, Congress has the power to to examine anyone’s tax filings, according to a law described by Politico as “arcane.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, every president since Richard Nixon has publicly released their tax returns – every president except Trump.
NBC NEWS: Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal has asked the committee’s attorneys to prepare a request for President Trump’s tax returns https://t.co/ECZchGKj8a
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) March 1, 2019
During his campaign, Trump refused to release his returns, saying that he couldn’t do so while he was under audit by the IRS. In fact, no such law or rule prevents a person’s tax returns from being released while they are under IRS audit. Since his inauguration, Trump has, through his White House spokespeople, insisted that the American people are not interested in his tax returns. Thus, he will not release them.
House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, however, wants to see them — and he is one person in Washington with the power to demand them. And though the law does appear to be on Neal’s side, he has directed House staffers to prepare a solid legal case before actually demanding them. That’s because he expects a protracted legal battle from Trump’s people.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Democrat Bill Parcell warned Mnuchin that talk of subpoenaing Trump’s returns isn’t hypothetical.
“It’s happening, and it’s coming — so be prepared.”
It remains unclear, as of this writing, when exactly the Committee will submit its request to a court. However, on March 1, NBC News writer Heidi Przybyla posits that the move could come “within the next few weeks.”