Watchdog clears Mnuchin of wrongdoing in Trump tax returns battle

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin followed departmental protocols when he refused to hand over President Donald Trump's tax returns to the House ways and means committee, an inspector general said. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

April 11 (UPI) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did nothing wrong when he refused to turn over President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a congressional committee last year, an inspector general report said Friday.

The Treasury Department’s inspector general report said Mnuchin followed departmental protocols and “properly” handled subpoenas by the House ways and means committee.

Senate finance committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, publicly released the report — dated Wednesday — on Friday.

In April 2019, House ways and means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., requested six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, which is part of the Treasury Department.

A 1924 law says the IRS “shall furnish” anyone’s private tax information to the heads of Congress’ tax committees.

Mnuchin refused, saying Democrats do not have a legitimate legislative reason for seeking the documents. Instead he said Democrats only want to find potentially embarrassing information. Neal says they need documents to examine how thoroughly the IRS audits presidents and vice presidents.

Neal called on the Treasury Department’s inspector general to investigate Mnuchin’s handling of the subpoenas in October.


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