Steven Mnuchin Just Rejected Democrats’ Request to Release Trump’s Tax Returns

Expect a lengthy legal battle.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin officially denied House Democrats’ request for President Donald Trump’s tax returns in a letter Monday, saying the request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”

If Democrats decide to continue to pursue the issue, they can either subpoena the Internal Revenue Service or file a lawsuit. Either way, a lengthy legal battle is expected to follow that could wind up before the Supreme Court.

As Mother Jones previously reported, experts maintain that Congress does, in fact, have the authority to request a president’s tax returns, and denying Congress’ request would be unprecedented:

Trump was the first presidential candidate since Gerald Ford to refuse to release his tax returns But according to a tax historian who spoke to Mother Jones last year, Congress has always had the option to request them. “They can’t do it because they want to show it off at a cocktail party, but as long as there is a legitimate need for them—something consistent with Congress’ prerogatives and responsibilities, yes, they can request them, and Treasury is supposed to supply them,” said Joseph Thorndike.

Monday also marks the deadline set by House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler for Attorney General William Barr to share the unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence with Congress. Barr did not comply, and the committee plans to vote whether to hold him in contempt on Wednesday.

Read the letter here:

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.