Mnuchin rejects Democrats’ subpoena for President Trump’s tax returns

Cheryl Sanders
May 20, 2019

Neal, who had requested six years' worth of documentation of the president's taxes and the taxes of his business entities in April, also said he did not plan to hold Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in contempt for failing to comply with the subpoena.

When he issued the subpoena last week, Neal said he was seeking six years of Pres. Trump's personal and business tax returns to aid a committee investigation into whether the IRS is doing its job properly to audit a sitting president and whether the law governing such audits needs to be strengthened. The Democrats have, since January, a majority in the house of representatives.

With a looming court battle, the timeline of a resolution is unpredictable, but legal experts expect it to take a while based on previous instances of Congress suing an administration official.

Mr Neal later issued a statement, saying he was "consulting with counsel on how best to enforce the subpoenas moving forward". "I think if both sides have made up their minds, better to move it to the next branch of government, the judiciary".

In his letter Friday saying he would not comply with the subpoena, Mnuchin said he had consulted with the justice department and had been advised that he was not authorized to turn over the tax returns because Neal's request did not represent a legitimate congressional goal.

Pascrell said the returns could show whether the president was financially beholden to Russian Federation, and how he personally benefitted from the Republican tax law that disproportionately affected New Jersey and other high-tax states by capping the federal deduction for state and local taxes. House Democrats have expressed confidence the law requires the IRS to permit them to access the tax returns, a position supported by numerous legal experts. The law provides clear statutory authority for the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee to request and receive access to tax returns and return information. After consultations with the Ministry of justice, he is not competent, therefore, the tax declarations.

Before Trump came to power, it was a longstanding practice for U.S. presidents to release their tax returns. "Make it part of the 2020 Election!"

Trump has vowed to fight all subpoenas from House Democrats. The New York Times reported earlier this month that based on an analysis of IRS records, Trump reported losses of almost $1.2 billion between 1985 and 1994 and may have been able to carry over those losses for years after to minimize his tax bills. House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat, said he wants the records to corroborate former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress as well as to help investigate whether the president has any conflicts of interest with his businesses.

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