Steven Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury, says that he will protect president Trump’s tax returns the same as he would any other US citizen.
Democratic Representative Lloyd Doggett of the House Ways and Means Committee was told by Mnuchin that to the best of his recollection, no politician has ever been forced to give up their tax returns and that he would not be setting any precedent, but that he would be following the law.
One thing we know for sure is if the Democrats get the president’s tax returns, they would be leaked by them within days but only anything they can frame as suspicious whether it is or not.
Committee Chairman Richard Neal is one of the only officials authorized make such a request, and is reportedly expected to do so in a matter of weeks. Until now, Trump has kept a tight lid on both business and personal tax records. While he claimed it was due to an audit, the IRS did in fact say that he was allowed to release them during that process.
The demands to examine President Trump’s financial history reached a lull before the testimony of former Trump attorney and alleged “fixer” Michael Cohen on February 27, who testified that Trump lowered his taxes both by slashing employee wages, and altering the valuation of his assets.
“There’s an awful lot of interest in 6103 today,” Mnuchin said, referring to section 6103 of the U.S. tax code, which states that the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” the documents if requested by chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation.
While Trump departed from a longstanding tradition of submitting tax returns during his candidacy for president, the pursuit of financial records on a sitting POTUS is unprecedented. Without the cooperation of the only man legally empowered to produce them, Democrats may have a Sisyphean fight on their hands.