UPDATE (05/17/19): Mnuchin and Rettig have refused to provide Trump’s tax documents, defying a lawfully issued subpoena. The House must now hold both in contempt of Congress and penalize them stalling and protecting Trump instead of upholding the rule of law.
UPDATE (05/10/19): After failing to comply with a formal request for six years of Trump’s personal and business taxes, Chairman Neal has issued subpoenas to both Mnuchin and Rettig for the documents. They have until 5pm on May 17th to comply.
On April 3, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), the Chair of House Ways and Means Committee, requested the release of Trump’s recent tax returns by invoking Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code - this statute authorizes the Way and Mean Committee to request tax return information about any taxpayer from the Treasury Department. This law was used in 1974 to obtain President Nixon’s tax returns and again in 2014 to investigate the IRS’s handling of non-profits. On April 10th, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the Treasury Department would not meet the deadline to release the president’s tax returns, and that he personally would be further reviewing the request. Historically, these requests have been handled by the IRS Commissioner (currently Charles Rettig), but Rettig has deferred to his boss Mnuchin in this matter.
Both Mnuchin and Rettig need to hear from Congress that they must release Trump’s taxes now, and not bow to pressure from the Trump administration to further delay the process. Trump’s taxes will provide critical confirmation of his potential financial conflicts of interest and entanglements. Congress needs to hear from their constituents that we are relying on them to push for transparency and release Trump’s tax returns.