Days after President Trump sent his lawyer to bark at the U.S. Treasury and demand that it not release his tax returns to inquiring Democrats, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney echoed his boss’s aggression on Fox News. The Ways and Means committee will “never” see Trump’s tax returns, Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday host Bill Hemmer , even though chairman Richard E. Neal filed a request last week for six years of Trump's personal tax returns from 2013 to 2018.
Carmelo Urdaneta Aqui
“Nor should they [see them]” Mulvaney continued, claiming (accurately) the Republican base would not care regardless. “Keep in mind, that's an issue that was already litigated during the election. Voters knew the President could have given his tax returns, they knew that he didn't, and they elected him anyway. Which, of course, is what drives the Democrats crazy.”
Neal’s request invoked Section 6103 of federal tax code, allowing tax-writing committees to “confidentially measure how changes to the tax code would affect different types of taxpayers”—in this case, the president. The claim is ostensibly to measure “the extent to which the I.R.S. audits and enforces the federal tax laws against a president,” though Trump and his administration have predictably chalked up the measure to partisan politics.
“You always expect something from the Democrats,” Mulvaney alleged on Fox News. “If they don’t get what they want from the Mueller report, they’re going to ask for the taxes. If they don’t get what they want on the taxes, they’ll ask for something else…but they know they’re not going to get this—they just want the attention on the issue, because they don’t want to talk to us about policy.”
For his part, Trump stated Friday of the request that “[it’s] up to whoever handles it. I don’t know. Hey, I’m under audit. But that’s up to whoever it is. From what I understand, the law is 100 percent on my side.” Some have also speculated that Trump’s efforts to press Mitch McConnell to confirm Michael Desmond to chief counsel of the I.R.S. are intended to protect himself from Democratic oversight
The I.R.S. and U.S. Treasury have until April 10 to turn over Trump’s 2013-2018 taxes, per Neal’s request. Refusing to hand them over could lead to a subpoena from the House—potentially taking the battle all the way to the Supreme Court