Maxine Waters, Mnuchin Go Mano a Mano

Maxine Waters, Mnuchin Go Mano a Mano

When Nixon was first audited by the IRS, he was given a clean bill on his returns, but a subsequent audit of the same returns found that he owed almost $500,000 in additional tax on interest. "It's very simple", Trump told reporters gathered at the White House South Lawn as he left for a trip to Texas.

"No lawyer would tell you to release your tax returns while you're under audit", Trump said.

"I believe that the communication between our legal department and the White House general counsel was informational", Mnuchin said.

He said he had not spoken directly with anyone from the White House about the tax returns, but that members of his team had.

"No other secretary has ever told us the day before that they were going to limit their time", Waters said. Mnuchin says he "looks forward to responding, " but it appears clear that Treasury won't meet the deadline and actually produce the returns.

Democrats cried foul, saying any White House involvement in Treasury's decision-making raised the risk of improper political involvement.

Democratic Rep. Nydia Velázquez of NY shot back, "And the law says - upon a written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate or the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the secretary shall furnish. I built a great company", he said. "I want to be clear that we will follow the law".

Waters complained that no Treasury secretary had previously attempted to set a time limit on his testimony before the committee. "It will be embarrassing if I keep this person waiting", he said, per CNN.




Waters: You're free to leave any time you want. He said that when Republicans controlled the House, "they did not treat the secretary of the Treasury this way". "And I have the gavel", she said. "If you wish to leave, you may".

After Waters proceeded to continue with the hearing, Mnuchin again chimed in to clarify whether or not Waters was "instructing" him to stay, and therefore, cancel his meeting.

Mnuchin: Ok, well then please dismiss everybody.

Last week, House Democrats formally requested the IRS give Congress copies of President Trump's tax returns over the past six years. The IRS is part of Treasury.

Presidential candidates since the Nixon administration have released their tax returns, but Trump has refused to do so. The IRS has said that there's nothing preventing the president from publicizing them prior to the audit's completion.

There are two legitimate ways that the president can refuse to disclose his returns: by demonstrating that the request is outside the committee's legitimate purview, or that the request itself is unconstitutional, according to Harold Krent, dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. "The only this works is if the American people trust the IRS and trust this information will be held private". They simply provide the service of allowing people to have the sense that if there's something wrong, then someone would have said something.

It was notable in itself that Mnuchin responded to the request, rather than IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

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