Mnuchin Says He Hasn't Talked With Trump About His Tax Returns

(Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hasn’t discussed with President Donald Trump or his attorneys the efforts by lawmakers to seek his tax returns, but that if Congress sends him a request, he’ll consult with the agency’s legal department and follow the law.

“I have not discussed with anybody in the White House the issue of his tax returns or the request of his tax returns,” Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means Committee, which is anticipating a legal fight from Treasury when they eventually ask for his returns.

Mnuchin also said that Trump has never asked him about it.

Democrats who now control the committee are eager to get the returns and are easing their way into an almost-certain legal battle. Thursday marked Mnuchin’s first appearance at a hearing with the chamber under Democrats’ control.

“I haven’t received the request,” Mnuchin told the committee Thursday. “If you have a request for me today, I’m happy to accept it.”

He added: “We will protect the president as we would any individual taxpayer under their rights.”

Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts -- as well as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the head of the Joint Committee on Taxation -- have the power under a 1924 law to ask the Treasury secretary to turn over the tax returns of any
person, including the president.

Trump broke decades of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns during the 2016 campaign, saying the returns were under audit, and has continued to decline to make them public.

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