Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is willing to use his oversized chompers to bite Trump’s taxes down to manageable sizes because he’d rather eat them than hand them over to Congress.
On Wednesday, “Mnuchin on Trump’s taxes” didn’t appear to be too concerned with ignoring a congressional subpoena to hand over the president’s tax returns but he was concerned with getting to the bottom of who wrote and leaked a draft IRS memo “that found that the agency has to provide tax returns to Congress unless executive privilege is invoked,” the Hill reports.
While the memo doesn’t mention President Trump, the Hill notes that it could be used by Democrats to argue that the White House is wrong in refusing to release the president’s taxes.
“We’re trying to find out who wrote the memo, where it came from, when it was and why it wasn’t distributed,” Mnuchin said at a House Financial Services Committee hearing, according to the Hill.
Just last week Mnuchin refused to hand over six years of Trump’s tax returns as requested by subpoena from House Democrats. Mnuchin decided on his own without prodding from anyone (except the president) that the subpoena constituted judicial overreach and therefore he didn’t have to follow it. That would be the equivalent of you receiving a speeding ticket and deciding that you weren’t going to pay it and not even appear in court to argue your innocence because you weren’t speeding.
Tell me how far you’d get with that?
Mnuchin just decided that despite the tax code that reads that the “Treasury secretary ‘shall furnish’ returns requested by the chairmen of congressional tax committees” he wasn’t going to do it and he hasn’t.
“A draft IRS memo written by an attorney in the chief counsel’s office last fall, reported on by the Washington Post Tuesday evening, said that the chairmen of Congress’s tax committees don’t need to provide a reason for requesting tax returns and that the Treasury secretary doesn’t have discretion,” the Hill reports.
Mnuchin said he didn’t know about the memo and only learned of it “when we got an inquiry from the Washington Post.” He said he doesn’t know who wrote it.
Mnuchin told the Hill that he hasn’t reviewed the memo.
“I looked at it literally on the way up here,” he said. “Someone handed me the printed copy of it. I would not describe that as I’ve reviewed it.”
He also reiterated that he’s had no discussions with Trump about the tax-returns issue.
“I’ve had no conversations ever with the president or anyone in the White House about delivering the president’s tax returns to Congress,” he said.
Mnuchin doesn’t have to be in contact with the White House to know that Trump doesn’t want to show his taxes. Hell, the whole world knows the lengths he’s gone in trying to keep them secret. At this point, Mnuchin has overplayed his hand but the problem is there’s really no system to hold him accountable.