Apr 23, 2019

Treasury Department ignores Democrats' 2nd deadline for Trump's tax returns

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) Tuesday informing him that the Treasury Department will decide by May 6 whether to release President Trump's tax returns to Congress — effectively ignoring the April 23 deadline that Neal had set.

"Due to the serious constitutional questions raised by this request and the serious consequences that a resolution of those questions could have for taxpayer privacy, the Department is consulting with the Department of Justice. Although federal law establishes no deadline for a response to your request, we expect to provide the Committee with a final decision by May 6, after receiving the Justice Department's legal conclusions."

The big picture: In the past few days, the Trump administration has taken a number of steps to block oversight by House Democrats, or — as the president and his defenders have labeled it — "presidential harassment."

  • On Monday, Trump and the Trump Organization sued House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings in an attempt to block Cummings' subpoena of Trump's longtime accountant, Mazars USA LLP.
  • Also on Monday, White House directed former security clearance official Carl Kline not to comply with an Oversight subpoena. Cummings is now moving to hold Kline in contempt of Congress.
  • And as the Washington Post reported Tuesday, the administration also plans on fighting a House Judiciary subpoena of former White House counsel Don McGahn.
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