Treasury Secretary Mnuchin rejects Democrats' demand for President Trump's taxes

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a House committee in April

"The New York state tax returns likely contain information that is similar to what is in the federal returns", said Harry Sandick, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, noting his business losses and income would likely be similar at the federal and state levels.

The escalation of tensions over Trump's tax returns comes as Democrats press Attorney General William Barr to release special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report and related evidence.

In his letter earlier this week, Mnuchin said of House Democrats' request for Trump's records, "in reliance on the advice of the Department of Justice, I have determined that the Committee's request lacks a legitimate legislative objective, and. the Department is therefore not authorized to disclose the requested returns and return information".

House Democrats have argued that the law is clear that congressional tax writing committees have broad authority to request the returns of any taxpayer.

The move, which was expected, is sure to set in motion a legal battle over Mr Trump's tax returns.

State Sen. John Flanagan, leader of the chamber's Republican minority, called the legislation a "blatant political act" and said he wished New York Democrats were more focused on tax relief and creating new jobs for New Yorkers.




Trump's home state is NY, where many of his business enterprises are based. The Democrats are demanding that the IRS turn over the documents.

Critics of Mnuchin's decision not to release the president's financial records have pointed to a 1924 law giving the House Ways and Means chairman the ability to request taxpayer information from the IRS.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he supports legislation allowing the president's tax returns to be made public, but only if it also applies to all state lawmakers and statewide elected officials in NY. It would likely not contain any information about IRS audits into Trump's tax returns, a key part of Neal's request, as those would not be filed in the state returns.

In a Monday statement, Neal said that he would "consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response".

In interviews last month, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News that there was no world in which Democrats would get the President's tax returns.

The New York bill wouldn't make Trump's returns public, but Congress could potentially decide to do so. If the matter does end up before the courts then the committee will be required to specify what the "legitimate legislative purpose" is for its request of the President's confidential tax returns.

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