Steve Mnunchin and Maxine Waters Butt Heads Again

11 April, 2019, 03:31 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Rep. Richard Neal leaves a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol Jan. 4 2019

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said Americans did not care about the issue and that his returns were being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which tax and legal experts have said does not prevent their release.

The law that permits Neal, as head of Ways and Means, to receive Trump's returns is simple and clear: 26 U.S.C. §6103 (f) specifies that "upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives ... the Secretary [of the Treasury] shallfurnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request". "We had obviously read in the press that we were expecting this".

Democrats want six years of Trumps' returns - which he has refused to release - using a federal law that says the treasury secretary "shall follow" requests from House or Senate chairmen to release tax return information.

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Treasury Department lawyers had held "informational" discussions with the White House about an expected request for the returns.

White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Sunday that Trump's tax returns would never be handed over to Democratic lawmakers, in defiance of their efforts to learn more about the former real estate mogul's personal finances.

"I got elected last time, the same exact issue", he said.

Trump will highlight tax reform during the April 15 visit, the GOP official said, which falls on the same day as the deadline for tax filing.

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In the letter, Mnuchin said his department has "begun consultations with the Department of Justice to ensure that our response is fully consistent with the law and the Constitution", and it will miss the April 10 deadline set by Neal. "I'm not going to comment on specific conversations that we've had together". "I have no problem with it, but while I'm under audit, I would not give my taxes".

See, the President Trump appointed advisor was upset that his testimony was taking too long-over three hours-and that he had a meeting to attend.

After a tense back-and-forth over whether he could leave the hearing, Mnuchin told Waters she was supposed to "take the gavel and bang it" to end the session, to which Waters responded, "Please do not instruct me as to how I am to conduct this committee".

Trump has promised to release the returns after a conclusion of an audit, although independent legal experts have said that an audit would not bar him from doing so.

Once again, Republicans are challenging rule of law and executive norms whenever possible, as presidents have been releasing their tax returns for decades. Of course, most tax attorneys don't represent presidents or people running for the White House.

Democratic Rep. Nydia Velázquez of NY shot back, "And the law says - upon a written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate or the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the secretary shall furnish".

Trump has broken with tradition by not voluntarily releasing his tax returns.

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