Trump says he won't give his tax returns to Congress

Steve Mnunchin and Maxine Waters Butt Heads Again

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters probably won't be exchanging holiday cards this year after things got a little tense during the Treasury secretary's testimony on Tuesday.

Trump told reporters at the White House that "I would love to give them, but I'm not going to do it while I'm under audit". Even though Neal addressed his letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig, Mnuchin said he would personally oversee the review.

Trump also reminded critics that he was under "no obligation" to release his tax returns despite Democrat protests that many previous candidates for president had done so. "There's a copy of President Trump's NY state tax returns right here in NY state in an office somewhere", state Assemblyman David Buchwald said at a press conference on Monday.

"We would never ask for the White House's permission on this, " Mnuchin said. Neal is relying on a 1920s-era law that says the IRS "shall furnish" any tax return requested by the chairmen of key House and Senate committees.

"There is no law, as you know, I got elected last time with the same issue and while I'm under audit, I won't do it". He said that members of Treasury's legal team had had consultations on the matter before the tax return request was made but that the Treasury officials had not sought any type of permission to release the returns.

Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., citing a long list of Trump administration officials who have departed, pressed Mnuchin on whether he was anxious about being fired if he complied with the request.

Asked by reporters after the hearing if Treasury would meet the deadline, Mnuchin said, "In general, we try to accommodate these requests". "Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns".

With only hours left before a midnight deadline set for the Treasury Department by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives tax committee, the panel said it had not received the returns.

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Rettig said he hadn't been instructed not to comply with the request by anyone acting on the White House's behalf. The 1924 law in question has never been challenged in court, and this is the first time it is being used to compel the provision of the president's tax returns.

When asked by CNN if he had spoken Rettig in recent days, Mnuchin said, "I speak to the IRS commissioner regularly".

That sparked a back and forth between Waters and Mnuchin in which the secretary threatened not to return to the committee if forced to remain past the time he had given the committee the previous afternoon.

Mnuchin then sarcastically offered to stay, an offer that Waters said she'd take him up on.

Gingrich dismissed Waters steadfast demeanor by saying "I don't think secretary- congresswoman Waters has any idea how wealthy Mnuchin is".

The head of the IRS faced questions from politicians for a second day on his response to Neal's request. "Ironically, the very reason that Trump says he won't hand over the information is one of the very reasons that Congress should rightfully be requesting that information".

Once again, Republicans are challenging rule of law and executive norms whenever possible, as presidents have been releasing their tax returns for decades.

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