US Treasury defies Congress subpoena for Trump tax records

Treasury and IRS to Miss Trump Tax Return Subpoena Deadline

The US treasury secretary defied a House subpoena for Donald Trump's tax returns on Friday, setting up another potential court battle between the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

In response to Neal's earlier requests, Mnuchin has said Democrats merely want to expose Trump's private information for political purposes."For the same reasons, we are unable to provide the requested information in response to the committee's subpoena", Mnuchin wrote, adding that the Justice Department intends publish a legal opinion memorializing its advice to him to reject the requests.

Just minutes before that deadline hit, Mnuchin sent a letter to Neal saying his "unprecedented" demand "lacks legitimate legislative objective", and so he wouldn't be fulfilling it.

"The Committee's request is unprecedented, and it presents serious constitutional questions, the resolution of which may have lasting consequences for all taxpayers", Mnuchin said in a letter to Neal earlier this month.

The Democrats had hoped a almost 100-year-old tax code provision requiring the Treasury to furnish tax returns upon request by Congress would get them the documents. "State returns from [New York] would not help that investigation".

As part of their lead-off ethics package, which Trump's lawyers cited in their filing Wednesday, Democrats' legislation required presidents to disclose at least 10 years of their tax returns to the public, in what was an apparent swipe at Trump.

"The law, by its terms, does not allow for discretion as to whether to comply with a request for tax returns and return information", he said.

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That did not sit well among Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee, who have consistently pushed a more aggressive approach toward getting Mr. Trump's returns.

The deadline was already the third, which had been set by Neal Minister of Finance Mnuchin.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler's panel voted last week to recommend that the House cite Attorney General William Barr with contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted Russian Federation investigation report.

Neal's most obvious recourse is to sue Mnuchin and Rettig for failing to comply with the subpoena.

"I don't see what good it would do at this particular time", Neal told CNN Friday. Mnuchin told a Senate panel this week he was glad the judiciary would be responsible for mediating the dispute between Congress and the administration.

"I support moving forward with contempt I support using the inherent power this Congress has whether it is by fine or confinement to use that power and let this administration know that we have a credible alternative", said Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who also sits on the Ways and Means Committee.

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