Mnuchin says courts need to settle fight over Trump’s taxes

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2019

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hinted on Wednesday that his department would not comply with a subpoena for President Donald Trump's tax returns, a sign that Democrats will likely have to go to court if they want to continue in their fight for the President's tax records.

"There is a difference in interpretation between Congress and us and the Department of Justice around this law that not only impacts this president and this Congress but has a very big impact on every single taxpayer in weaponizing the IRS", Mnuchin said.

The back-and-forth comes just days ahead of the looming subpoena deadline from the House Ways and Means Committee to Treasury Secretary and the IRS Commissioner for six years of President Donald Trump's tax returns by May 17 and came after Mnuchin ignored Democrats' earlier request.

So far, Mnuchin has repeatedly refused those requests, saying House Democrats don't have a legitimate legislative goal for the returns and only want to target a political enemy and violate the president's privacy.

The secretary said that opinion is shared by the top levels of the IRS as well.

Mnuchin told the senators that Congress didn't need to see the president's returns to ensure the IRS was conducting audits properly.

Mnuchin said the tax tussle was "a very important issue that has a precedent way beyond any one president and Congress".

But Mr. Mnuchin said his department and the Justice Department don't see that as an absolute command, and say it depends on what Congress's goal is for the request.

Mnuchin also said in answer to a question that he has not discussed the dispute over the returns "with the president or with anybody in the White House". The Maryland Democrat noted Trump's previous comments during the 2016 campaign when he was "bragging about not paying taxes".

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