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Washington - Mnuchin Says He'll Protect Trump Privacy If Tax Returns Requested

Published on: March 14, 2019 10:41 AM
By: AP
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FILE - US President Donald J. Trump (C) speaks during a meeting on tax policy with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 31 October 2017. Also in the picture is US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L).  EPA-EFEFILE - US President Donald J. Trump (C) speaks during a meeting on tax policy with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 31 October 2017. Also in the picture is US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L).  EPA-EFE

Washington - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Thursday he will protect President Donald Trump’s privacy if he receives a request from House Democrats for Trump’s tax returns.

At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Mnuchin was asked whether he would meet a request for Trump’s past tax returns. Chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., is expected to formally ask for those as Democrats seek to shed light on Trump’s financial dealings and potential conflicts of interest.

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“We will examine the request and we will follow the law ... and we will protect the president as we would protect any taxpayer” regarding their right to privacy, Mnuchin said.

Neal is one of only three congressional officials authorized under a rarely used 1924 law to make a written request for anyone’s tax returns to the Treasury secretary. The law says the Treasury chief “shall furnish” the requested material to members of the committee for them to examine behind closed doors. But Mnuchin did not specifically say he would turn them over.

The unprecedented move likely would set off a huge legal battle between Trump’s administration and Democrats controlling the House. The fight could take years to resolve, possibly stretching beyond the 2020 presidential election.

Neal could move in coming weeks to ask for the documents. “It’s happening and it’s coming, so be prepared,” Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., told Mnuchin at the hearing.

Democrats say that seeking Trump’s tax documents falls within their mandate of congressional oversight; Republicans accuse the Democrats of using powers in the tax law to mount a political witch hunt. Republican lawmakers have invoked privacy concerns and the confidentiality of all tax documents, suggesting that the Democrats would leak Trump’s returns so they would become public.

Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani has suggested the Democrats could have a hard time proving their demand was intended for pursuing legitimate congressional oversight and was not a political scavenger hunt.

Mnuchin was asked whether Trump had intervened in some way or asked him to ignore the expected request for the tax returns. “He has not,” Mnuchin responded. He said he hasn’t discussed the issue with anyone in the White House or with Trump’s attorneys.

Trump broke with decades of tradition for presidential candidates by refusing to release his income tax filings during his 2016 campaign. He has said he won’t release them because he is being audited, even though IRS officials have said taxpayers under audit are free to release their returns. Trump claimed at a news conference following the November elections that the filings are too complex for people to understand.

Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, during his detailed testimony to a House committee last month, said he asked Trump for paperwork for the audit to prepare Trump’s response to reporters about the issue, but never received any documentation. Cohen said that led him to presume that Trump isn’t being audited.

Getting Trump’s returns has been high on the Democrats’ list of priorities since they won control of the House in November’s midterm elections. The Democrats tried and failed several times as the minority party in Congress to obtain Trump’s returns.

They want to explore numerous aspects of Trump’s complex financial dealings and corporate empire. Among them: whether there are conflicts of interest between Trump’s companies and his presidential actions, whether he’s properly paid taxes and whether he personally benefited from the sweeping Republican-written tax law enacted in late 2017.



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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 14, 2019 at 10:54 AM Educated Archy Says:

"we will protect the president as we would any taxpayer”

Munchin watch out you are a moving target by the fake news, congress and the entire anti Trump camp. Once you resist their witch hunt the KGB thugs will come after you. if you ever misreported $1,000 in your tax returns they will hit you with 10 statutory violations. They will then parade you around town and grossly exaggerate any small crime or misdeed even if unintentional. They will show no pity on anyone who dares to support the president. This is the state of our wonderful democracy. If I were you I'd watch out and lawyer up.

2

 Mar 14, 2019 at 10:56 AM Educated Archy Says:

I should add remember when you flew first class somewhere with your wife and the media besmirched you even though as a high level diplomat its normal and expected that you get goodies of which a layman like me doesn't get it. Well if you stick up for trump now that's gonna come out to bite you. The dems will march that around and claim you are corrupt.

3

 Mar 14, 2019 at 04:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Educated Archy Says:

I should add remember when you flew first class somewhere with your wife and the media besmirched you even though as a high level diplomat its normal and expected that you get goodies of which a layman like me doesn't get it. Well if you stick up for trump now that's gonna come out to bite you. The dems will march that around and claim you are corrupt.

Mnunchin took more than $800K of military flights without normal approval processes.

He asked for a military flight for his super-model-shiksa wife's honeymoon. At least he revoked his request.

4

 Mar 14, 2019 at 05:17 PM yaakov doe Says:

Why are Trump's tax returns so top top secret? Is there something there that he wishes to hide? Do you remember that during the campaign he said that he would release the returns.

5

 Mar 14, 2019 at 06:48 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #4  
yaakov doe Says:

Why are Trump's tax returns so top top secret? Is there something there that he wishes to hide? Do you remember that during the campaign he said that he would release the returns.

yes there is stuff to hide. Lets not call you names but at least you'll admit that many are dumb, cant add and ignorant of real estate and other accounting laws.

If he releases his returns it will show that he wrote off most of his real estate as losses. And in forbes and for loans he was valued at alot more. In reality, it s completley legal to do that. But as you dumb guys did after the Cohen testimony you will yell foul play on that. You will investigate and investigate till you find $1 off and impeach him.

Yes he also did business in Russia. Nothing wrong with that either. but the liberal fools will scream hey he is compromised and Russia owns him....

Got it?

5

 Mar 14, 2019 at 06:50 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

Mnunchin took more than $800K of military flights without normal approval processes.

He asked for a military flight for his super-model-shiksa wife's honeymoon. At least he revoked his request.

Big deal. He is one of the highest figures in the country. whats $800,000?

But you see you got my point. Munichin better watch out or people like you will shecht him

6

 Mar 14, 2019 at 09:47 PM Just Wondering.... Says:

Where's Pelosi's tax returns?

7

 Mar 14, 2019 at 10:42 PM Cricket Says:

I wanna see Educated Archies tax returns.

8

 Mar 15, 2019 at 12:06 AM Steve M is an honorary member of the TRump crime family Says:

Reply to #5  
Educated Archy Says:

Big deal. He is one of the highest figures in the country. whats $800,000?

But you see you got my point. Munichin better watch out or people like you will shecht him

If $800K is nothing to him, let him repay it.

In a very true sense, he stole all that money from the US Treasury. He stole it from you and me, taxpayers.

If Mnuchin is not afraid of the IG or the DOJ, he is definitely not afraid of me.

9

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