Mnuchin: WH Talked Tax Returns With Treasury Before Request

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, with his wife Louise Linton, at far left, and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza, right, hold up sheets of new $1 bills, the first currency notes bearing Mnuchin and Carranza's signatur... Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, with his wife Louise Linton, at far left, and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza, right, hold up sheets of new $1 bills, the first currency notes bearing Mnuchin and Carranza's signatures, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. The Mnuchin-Carranza notes, which are a new series of 2017, 50-subject $1 notes, will be sent to the Federal Reserve to issue into circulation. Behind Mnuchin is BEP Director Leonard Olijar. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) MORE LESS
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April 9, 2019 10:30 a.m.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said today that the White House general counsel discussed an impending request from Congress for President Trump’s tax returns before Rep. Richie Neal (D-MA) asked for them.

Our legal department has had conversations prior to receiving the letter with the White House general counsel,” Mnuchin said in response to questioning from Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) on the House Appropriations Committee. “They have not briefed me as to the contents.” 

Quigley pressed Mnuchin on whether he had discussed the tax return request with anybody from the White House since the House Ways and Means Committee made the ask on Wednesday.

I have not had any conversations with anybody in the White House about this issue,” he said. 

Quigley also asked who in the Treasury Department would make the decision on providing the returns. The statute under which Neal requested Trump’s tax information mandates that the Treasury secretary “furnish” the tax information.

Neal sent the letter asking for the returns to IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig, who is scheduled to testify before Congress later today.

Mnuchin said that the Treasury’s legal department is reviewing the request.

“It is our intent to follow the law,” he said.

“It would be premature for me to comment specifically what they are reviewing,” Mnuchin added, failing to respond directly to Quigley’s question regarding who will make the final decision. 

Mnuchin cryptically added that “it is my responsibility to supervise the [IRS] commissioner.”

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