The pressure is mounting on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin after he rebuffed another attempt by the House Ways and Means Committee to provide them access to Donald Trump’s tax returns. The committee has been trying to get hold of Trump’s tax returns for oversight purposes, but Mnuchin has remained steadfast in his refusal to provide the committee with the documents. On Friday night, the House Ways and Means Committee decided it had had enough and subpoenaed both Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig for the documents, according to Common Dreams.
Under federal law, Mnuchin is bound to comply with the wishes of the Congress, unless he deems that the reason provided by the House Ways and Means Committee is arbitrary. Even so, it would leave the Treasury Department vulnerable to lawsuits, as pointed out in an earlier report in The Inquisitr.
But the committee has decided to forgo that option, instead deciding to subpoena the Treasury Secretary.
“The IRS is under a mandatory obligation to provide the information requested,” states the subpoena.
“The IRS has had more than four weeks to comply with the committee’s straightforward request. Therefore, please see the enclosed subpoena.”
Breaking: House Democrats issue subpoenas for Trump's tax returns https://t.co/o2vujwtsVM
— POLITICO (@politico) May 10, 2019
It is not clear how the Treasury Department plans to retort, but advocacy groups which have been calling for the release of Donald Trump’s tax records see it as a positive development. Stand Up America, a progressive advocacy group which has been pressuring the House Democrats to issue a subpoena, applauded the move. Its founder, Sean Eldridge, said that it was not up to Mnuchin to reject with the wishes of the Congress, and said that he must be taken to the court if he still fails to comply.
“Compliance is not optional,” Eldridge said.
“If Secretary Mnuchin fails to comply with these subpoenas, Chairman Neal has no option but to hold him in contempt of Congress and take them to court.”
Other progressives have also applauded the move made by the House Ways and Means Committee, with The Daily Beast columnist, Thor Benson, going so far as to say that Steven Mnuchin should be sent to jail if he doesn’t provide Congress with Trump’s tax returns.
“If Mnuchin doesn’t comply, throw him in jail,” he tweeted.
Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns has been a contentious topic in Washington. While Trump dodged the calls to release his returns during his presidential campaign by claiming that he was under audit at the time, the White House has been more blatant in its refusals ever since.