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Justice Dept. issues memo backing Mnuchin’s refusal to give Trump’s tax returns to Congress – The Washington Post

Justice Dept. issues memo backing Mnuchin’s refusal to give Trump’s tax returns to Congress – The Washington Post

Devlin BarrettReporter focusing on national security and law enforcement Matt ZapotoskyNational security reporter covering the Justice Department June 14 at 5:22 PM The Justice Department on Friday released its legal rationale for refusing to provide President Trump’s tax returns to Congress, arguing that House Democrats want to make the documents public, which “is not a legitimate legislative purpose.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to hand the documents over early last month, writing in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) that the committee’s demand was “unprecedented” and could “have lasting consequences for all taxpayers.” After getting legal advice from the Justice Department, Mnuchin said he had determined the request should be refused. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who serves on the committee, disputed the notion that lawmakers were using a “pretextual” basis — or dubious justification — for demanding the materials. “Here’s what is actually ‘pretextual’ — the President telling a Cabinet Secretary to ignore the law to protect him, the Secretary usurping legal responsibilities of the IRS Commissioner to do it, and the OLC coming up with these flimsy, bogus excuses that won’t stand up in court,” he wrote on Twitter. Legal analysts have said Mnuchin’s decision was a highly unusual move, given the language of the law covering the matter, and some House Democrats have said they expect to take legal action to get a court to intervene. A confidential Internal Revenue Service legal memo obtained by The Washington Post says tax returns must be given to Congress — unless the president were to assert executive privilege, which he has not done in this instance. [IRS draft memo says tax returns must be provided to Congress] Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to hand President Trump’s tax returns over to House Democrats early last month. (Luke Macgregor/Bloomberg News) The fight over the president’s tax records is one of several ongo
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Publish date : 2019-06-14T21:23:37Z

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