- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on Tuesday said that the department’s legal team discussed the issue of releasing President Trump’s tax returns before Rep. Richard Neal formally made the request last week, but that he has not spoken to Mr. Trump or acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney about the matter.

“Our legal department has had conversations prior to receiving the letter with the White House general counsel,” Mr. Mnuchin told lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Hill. “They have not briefed me to the content of that communication — I believe that was purely informational.”

Mr. Mnuchin said it was not exactly a “state secret” that congressional Democrats had been eyeing the request.


TOP STORIES
Franklin Graham calls on nation to pray for Trump as impeachment effort gains speed
CDC estimates 154,000 Americans have HIV but don't know it
White House, Trump family slam impeachment witness for 'classless' Barron Trump reference


“I have not had any conversations with anybody in the White House about this issue personally,” he said. “It is our intent to follow the law and that is in the process of being reviewed.”

Mr. Neal, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sent a request to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig last week for six years of Mr. Trump’s personal tax returns, as well as returns for some of the president’s associated entities, like a revocable trust.



Mr. Neal cited an obscure provision in the law that says the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” taxpayer information if it’s requested by one of the chairmen of Congress’s tax-writing committees.

Mr. Neal said getting a look at the president’s tax information is necessary to study IRS practices about auditing presidential tax returns, but Republicans say there’s no legislative value to them and have dismissed the request as a fishing expedition.

Dating to the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump has cited an audit in declining to release the returns. Democrats, meanwhile, have been pushing for some time to get their hands on them, with some believing they will contain compromising or damaging information.

Mr. Neal asked Mr. Rettig to provide him the information by April 10.

Mr. Mnuchin said it would be “premature” to comment on what staff might be reviewing.

“We look forward to responding to the letter,” he said.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Mulvaney had said Democrats will “never” see Mr. Trump’s tax returns.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide