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Treasury's Mnuchin fails to meet deadline to hand over Trump tax returns

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Treasury's Mnuchin fails to meet deadline to hand over Trump tax returns

By David Morgan

 

2019-04-23T223406Z_2_LYNXNPEF3M0ME_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP-TAX-LEGAL.JPG

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump waves prior to departing on a trip to Wisconsin from the White House in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday failed to meet a final congressional deadline for turning over President Donald Trump's tax returns to lawmakers, setting the stage for a possible court battle between Congress and the administration.

 

The outcome, which was widely expected, could prompt House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal to subpoena Trump's tax records as the opening salvo to a legal fight that may ultimately have to be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Neal set a final 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) deadline for the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury to provide six years of Trump's individual and business tax records. But the deadline passed without the panel receiving the documents.

 

After the deadline lapsed, Mnuchin released a letter to Neal in which he pledged to make "a final decision" on whether to provide Trump's tax records by May 6. It was the second time the administration has missed a House deadline for the tax returns since Neal requested them on April 3.

 

"Secretary Mnuchin notified me that once again, the IRS will miss the deadline for my ... request. I plan to consult with counsel about my next steps," Neal said in a statement.

 

In his letter, Mnuchin said he was still consulting with the Justice Department about Neal's request, which he termed "unprecedented."

 

"The department cannot act upon your request unless and until it is determined to be consistent with the law," the Treasury secretary told Neal.

 

'NOT UP TO THE PRESIDENT'

Earlier on Tuesday, the White House said Trump was unlikely to hand over his tax returns. "As I understand it, the president's pretty clear: Once he's out of audit, he'll think about doing it, but he's not inclined to do so at this time," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News in an interview.

 

"This is not up to the president. We did not ask him," said a Democratic committee aide, who cited a law saying the Treasury secretary "shall furnish" taxpayer data upon request from an authorized lawmaker.

 

Neal informed IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig earlier this month that failure to comply with the deadline would be viewed as a denial.

 

Legal experts said House Democrats could vote to hold Mnuchin or Rettig in contempt of Congress if they ignored a subpoena, as a pretext to suing in federal court to obtain Trump's returns. Experts say administration officials could ultimately risk financial penalties and even jail time by defying the committee.

 

As Ways and Means chairman, Neal is the only lawmaker in the House of Representatives authorized to request taxpayer information under federal law. Democrats say they are confident of succeeding in any legal fight over Trump's tax returns.

 

"The law is on our side. The law is clearer than crystal. They have no choice: they must abide by (it)," Representative Bill Pascrell, who has been leading the Democratic push for Trump's tax records, said in a statement to Reuters.

 

Democrats want Trump's returns as part of their investigations of possible conflicts of interest posed by his continued ownership of extensive business interests, even as he serves the public as president.

 

Republicans have condemned the request as a political "fishing expedition" by Democrats.

 

Despite the law's clarity, Democrats have long acknowledged that the effort would likely result in a legal battle that could end up with the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

"If the IRS does not comply with the request, it is likely that Chairman Neal will subpoena the returns," Representative Judy Chu, a Democratic member of the Ways and Means Committee, told Reuters.

 

"If they do not comply with that (subpoena), a legal battle will begin to defend the right of oversight in Congress," she said.

 

Trump broke with a decades-old precedent by refusing to release his tax returns as a presidential candidate in 2016 or since being elected, saying he could not do so while his taxes were being audited.

 

But his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, told a House panel in February that he does not believe Trump's taxes are under audit. Cohen said the president feared that releasing his returns could lead to an audit and IRS tax penalties.

 

(Reporting by David Morgan; additional reporting by Makini Brice and Jan Wolfe; editing by Susan Heavey and Bill Berkrot)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-04-24

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I know it’s donalds delaying tactic he is an old hand at this how many times has he been sued?i don’t know but lots so he knows how to play the game

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1 minute ago, Tug said:

I know it’s donalds delaying tactic he is an old hand at this how many times has he been sued?i don’t know but lots so he knows how to play the game

 

and?

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Tug said:

Well just the dude is a dirt bag and shouldn’t be representing the greatest country (imo)on earth 

 

If that's your opinion then okay. Although the libs here could work on the third grade name calling and try to be a little more circumspect in their posts 

Edited by Cryingdick
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22 minutes ago, Cryingdick said:

 

If that's your opinion then okay. Although the libs here could work on the third grade name calling and try to be a little more circumspect in their posts 

Ha ha I think that crown belongs to Donald ha ha oh boy 

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18 minutes ago, Tug said:

Ha ha I think that crown belongs to Donald ha ha oh boy 

 

Then he has beat you at your own game because you try hard. All I am saying is lay out an argument that doesn't involve the puerile name calling that is endemic to your party at this point.

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        Selecting Trump as President, was like selecting a troupe of Monkies to guard a banana warehouse.

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"This is not up to the president. We did not ask him,"... a law saying the Treasury secretary "shall furnish" taxpayer data upon request from an authorized lawmaker.

This is going to the SC.

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It's all Karma as far as I am concerned. Republican obstructionists during Obama's Presidency are getting a taste of Democrats meddling now. As for Captain Birther, you reap what you sow. Enjoy.

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6 hours ago, Cryingdick said:

 

If that's your opinion then okay. Although the libs here could work on the third grade name calling and try to be a little more circumspect in their posts 

You should be applauding that as a trait that’s being rubbed off of your dear leader

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18 minutes ago, Kasane said:

"This is not up to the president. We did not ask him,"... a law saying the Treasury secretary "shall furnish" taxpayer data upon request from an authorized lawmaker.

This is going to the SC.

Since the law is very clear I very much doubt it will go to the SC. Posturing, delaying, obfuscating, they'll do anything they can think of, but taking a losing proposition to the SC is not one of them.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Cryingdick said:

 

If that's your opinion then okay. Although the libs here could work on the third grade name calling and try to be a little more circumspect in their posts 

Third grade president  👍  that has a demeaning name for everyone that proves him and his lies wrong 😂 he can’t speak English, doesn’t read, does not know geography, spends most of his time golfing and stroking himself.  I suggest this book, if you want to know real American leaders:

 

8EDE5E90-702E-4F66-8B0E-0FA976AD2900.png

Edited by Redline

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Posts containing intentional misspellings of people's names have been removed.  If you do not want your posts to be removed, spell people's names correctly. 

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10 hours ago, Cryingdick said:

 

If that's your opinion then okay. Although the libs here could work on the third grade name calling and try to be a little more circumspect in their posts 

Yeah so could your Hero Zero...Ronald McDonald Trump. The Clown President of The USA.

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