In a hearing on Tuesday, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) ripped into Mnuchin’s decision to refuse a request to hand over Trump’s tax returns. Out of the gate, Pascrell informed Mnuchin that “this isn’t going to be pretty.”
Pascrell then read part of a law that said the Treasury Department “shall” hand over tax information to Congress when requested.
“So, by refusing to turn over Donald Trump’s business and personal tax records to this committee, I think you’re breaking the law. You have no legitimate legal rationale,” he said.
Watch his video below:
Rep. @BillPascrell "By refusing to turn over Donald Trump's business and personal tax returns to this committee, I think you're breaking the law."
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 3, 2020
He also took issue with Treasury officials reportedly handing over documents about Hunter Biden to Republican Senators but not complying with the committee’s request for Trump’s tax returns.
“Your department practically tripped over themselves to provide it. You sent it over to them so fast. I wonder if you stuffed it in a Federal Express envelope,” he said.
Mnuchin fired back and called Pascrell’s suggestion that he broke the law “offensive.”
“I find it offensive that you’re telling me that I’m breaking the law and staggering lies,” he said.
“Just to be clear, there’s a third branch of government, and there are courts that interpret things. This is in the courts, and the courts will deal with it. So that’s your interpretation of the law. I’m relying upon legal counsel upon what is our interpretation of the law. So in all due respect, I am not breaking the law, you have a different interpretation, you are not a judge, and this will be determined by a court.”
House Democrats filed a lawsuit in July of 2019, seeking to force the Treasury Department to comply with a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns.
Democrats have relied upon a 1924 law that requires the department to hand over tax information to tax committees.
Trump Administration officials have argued that Democrats need to prove they have a legislative reason to seek Trump’s tax returns.
While House Democrats have said they want Trump’s tax information to conduct oversight on how the Internal Revenue Service is following through on a policy of auditing presidents.
Justice Department officials have argued that Democrats “lacked a legitimate legislative purpose” for requesting Trump’s tax and defended the decision to ignore the subpoena.
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