Washington, May 7 (IANS) US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has denied a request from House Democrats for access to six years of President Donald Trump’s personal tax returns.
“I am informing you now that the Department may not lawfully fulfil the Committee’s request,” Mnuchin said in his one-page letter on Monday, written in consultation with lawyers from the Department of Justice.
He added that the Department of Justice would issue a formal legal opinion, CNN reported.
Last month, Mnuchin said that he would deliver a response by May 6.
The denial comes after two missed deadlines by the Treasury Secretary, who again in his letter said the request by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal under an obscure statute of tax law is “unprecedented”, arguing it raises “serious constitutional questions” that could have dire consequences for taxpayer privacy.
Trump has refused to release his tax information, first as a candidate and now as President, breaking a precedent.
In response to Mnuchin’s letter, Neal said in a statement later on Monday that he was still determining next steps.
“Today, Secretary Mnuchin notified me that the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) will not provide the documents I requested under Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code,” Neal said.
“I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response.”
The committee chairman could issue a subpoena on top of his request, or Democrats could move to hold the Treasury Secretary or IRS Commissioner for whom the original request was addressed to in contempt of Congress.