May 21, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Report: IRS draft memo says Trump must turn over tax returns or assert executive privilege

Photo: SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

A classified Internal Revenue Service draft memo obtained by the Washington Post indicates that President Trump's tax returns must be handed over to Congress unless the president invokes executive privilege.

Details: The memo was reportedly penned last fall by a lawyer in the Office of Chief Counsel and is not reflective of the agency's "official position," per the Post. Disclosure to the committee is "mandatory, requiring the Secretary to disclose returns, and return information, requested by the tax-writing Chairs," per the memo titled "Congressional Access to Returns and Return Information."

  • The law “does not allow the Secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information provided the statutory conditions are met” and explicitly denies Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's justification for suppressing Trump's financials.

The backdrop: To date, Trump has rejected calls to turn over his tax returns to Congress, but he has not asserted executive privilege. Mnuchin has denied the returns, arguing there is no legal basis for them to be shared.

Go deeper: Mnuchin rejects subpoena for Trump's tax returns

Go deeper