Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hinted on Wednesday that his department would not comply with a subpoena for President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a sign that Democrats will likely have to go to court if they want to continue in their fight for the President’s tax records.
House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal subpoenaed six years of the President’s personal and business tax returns last week. He gave Mnuchin a Friday deadline to comply with the subpoena.
Mnuchin officially said he had not made up his mind on how his department would respond, but he signaled during comments at a hearing on Capitol Hill, as well as while speaking to reporters directly following that appearance, that the response to Neal would likely fit a pattern.
“We haven’t had an official response yet, I think we have a few more days,” Mnuchin told reporters. “We will comply with the timing of it, I think you can pretty much guess how we’re going to, but we haven’t made a decision.”
Mnuchin said earlier this month that he would not comply with Neal’s request to turn over the President’s tax information. He has said he made that decision in consultation with his department’s counsel and lawyers at the Department of Justice.
Neal has repeatedly said he expects the fight to eventually move to the courts.
Neal is using a provision known as IRS statute 6103 that says three people – the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Senate Finance Committee chairman and the chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation – have the power to ask for tax information on any individual and the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” it.