US Treasury defies Congress subpoena for Trump tax records

18th May, 2019 10:33:02 printer

WASHINGTON: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected Friday a congressional subpoena for President Donald Trump’s tax records, setting up a new court battle between the two sides of government, reports AFP.

Mnuchin told Democratic Representative Richard Neal, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, that the committee “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose” to demand Trump’s tax returns.

Neal issued the subpoena on May 10, saying the confidential documents were necessary in carrying out oversight of taxation, including understanding how a sitting president with extensive business interests is treated by the Internal Revenue Service.

Neal expected the rejection and told reporters earlier Friday he would take the issue to court as early as next week rather than seek a contempt citation against Mnuchin, according to Roll Call, a news outlet that covers US government.

The court will have to rule whether the committee, as Neal asserts, has the right to demand the tax records of any American from the IRS as part of its oversight powers.

Trump has bucked the tradition of presidential candidates baring their finances and divulging how much they have paid in taxes.