“The Treasury Department is right to carefully review the privacy impact this request would have on every taxpayer,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who labeled the request for the President's tax returns 'unprecedented.'
The Trump Administration letter made no mention of President Trump's usual argument against turning over his tax returns - that he is under audit - as it instead focused on an extended legal review of the matter.
“I will say this - I would love to give them, but I’m not going to do it while I’m under audit,” Mr. Trump told reporters on the White House lawn Wednesday before leaving for a trip to Texas.
But for a second straight day on Capitol Hill, the head of the Internal Revenue Service told lawmakers there was no provision in law regarding audits which would stand in the way of such a request for the President's tax returns.
It wasn't immediately clear how long any legal review would take by the Trump Administration, as the Acting White House Chief of Staff had made clear earlier in the week that President Trump was not going to turn over his tax returns.
“This letter is nonsense,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA).
“The law is clear that our Chairman’s request must be granted,” Beyer added, as he said “Secretary Mnuchin is putting the President’s personal desires ahead of the law and the public interest.”
Democrats pointed out the law says the Secretary “shall” provide tax returns when requested by three different committees in the House - one of which is the House Ways and Means panel, which asked for six years of the President's tax returns.
“Let me be clear: if Secretary Mnuchin does not provide the president’s tax returns, he will break the law,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).