U.S. Treasury's Mnuchin defies House subpoena for Trump's tax returns

Mnuchin defies House Democrats' subpoenas for Trump's tax returns

Mnuchin defies House Democrats' subpoenas for Trump's tax returns

In his letter Friday saying he would not comply with the subpoena, Mnuchin said he had consulted with the Justice Department and had been advised that he was not authorized to turn over the tax returns because Neal's request did not represent a legitimate congressional objective.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Friday defied subpoenas from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal for President Donald Trump's tax returns.

Neal made his original request for Trump's taxes on April 3 under section 6103 (f) of the IRS tax code, which states that the Treasury Secretary "shall furnish" tax returns requested by a chair of a congressional tax committee. He wants to consider filing charges against Rettig and Mnuchin, and he's urging Congress to look to section 7214 of the USA code, which says that unlawful acts by US revenue officers or agents are punishable by a fine of of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to five years, or both. He had been given a Friday deadline by Neal to comply. "This is part of our oversight over the IRS".

The topic has been a contentious one for the president since his time on the campaign trail in 2015, and throughout his administration, as he has refused to release his financial information.

Trump has bucked the tradition of presidential candidates baring their finances and divulging how much they have paid in taxes. The documents revealed that Trump claimed to have lost $1.17 billion from his real estate businesses during that decade. The newspaper also reported that the losses were so substantial, that in the eight of the 10 years in question, Trump was able to avoid paying income tax.

Since House Democrats took the majority in January, Neal has moved cautiously in his quest to obtain the President's tax returns, specifically tailoring each step of the process for the prospect of a lawsuit.

But few expected Mnuchin, whose boss is the first president in 40 years to be elected without disclosing his returns, to comply with the demand.