DUS Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refuses to hand over the tax returns of President Donald Trump to the House of Representatives under penalty of punishment. Mnuchin wrote Friday in a letter to Democratic Chairman of the Chamber's Finance and Tax Committee, Richard Neal, saying he could not meet the request for legal reasons. Neal made it clear on CNN that he plans to go to court to force the release. Neal had asked Mnuchin to personally hand over the tax returns of Trump and several of his companies from the past six years to Friday.
The deadline was already the third that Neal Finance Minister Mnuchin had set. Last Friday, the committee issued so-called subpoenas, which forced Mnuchin and IRS chief Charles Rettig to cooperate. With Subpoenas, the congress may, under penalty of punishment, summon witnesses or request documents. Trump has announced that he will fight all subpoenas of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. Neal said he expects a lengthy lawsuit.
Mnuchin wrote on Friday that Neal's request lacks "legitimate legislative intentions." After consultations with the Ministry of Justice, he was therefore not entitled to issue the tax returns. Neal argues, citing a law, that the Ministry of Finance is required to issue tax returns at the request of the committee chairman.
Trump has never published his tax returns so far, fueling his critics' suspicions that he has something to hide. Normally, American presidential candidates publish their tax returns during the election campaign. The Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives since January. Since then, they have been trumpeting Trump's government team with requests for documents or hearings. The Senate – the other chamber in Congress – continues to be dominated by Trump's Republicans.