Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declined to meet congressional Democrats' Wednesday deadline to provide President Donald Trump's tax returns, asking for more time to study the legality of their request.
"If anybody's tax return is under audit, is there a rule that would prohibit that taxpayer from releasing it?" "I think she has served our country honorably".
The head of the IRS, meanwhile, agreed with Democrats that it's primarily his decision to make - though he reports to Mnuchin.
But Democrats have been arguing that the authority lies exclusively with someone else: Charles Rettig, the commissioner of the IRS. Mnuchin's staff said he wasn't obligated to stay.
Mnuchin added that he was never briefed on the content of the discussions.
"I have had no direction conversations with the president or anybody else" at the White House, Mnuchin told the Financial Service panel Tuesday afternoon.
"We would not ever ask for the White House's permission on this nor did they give us the permission".
"The law is clear and consultation with the Justice Department is not required".
Trump has refused to release his returns since he ran for president, and the clash over their release became a key front in the battles between his administration and newly-empowered Democrats in the House of Representatives.
"The committee requests the materials by April 10, but the Treasury Department will not be able to complete its review of your request by that date", Mnuchin wrote. "And I have the gavel", she said.
See, the President Trump appointed advisor was upset that his testimony was taking too long-over three hours-and that he had a meeting to attend.
"Keep in mind that that's an issue that was already litigated during the election", Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday. "We're all pressed for time, and I do get it". Mnuchin may think it is improper or inappropriate - but his refusing to hand over the tax returns would actually violate the law. If the administration continues to deny the request, House Democrats could also file a lawsuit in federal court to try to enforce it, said Daniel Hemel, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.
However, experts say the NY effort is sure to run into legal challenges of its own - and may not reveal as much as some hope.
Waters then quickly changed the subject to small businesses.
The president has told those close to him that the attempt to get his returns were an invasion of his privacy and a further example of the Democratic-led "witch hunt" - which he has called special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation - meant to damage him. "You're supposed to take the gavel and bang it", he said.
Then, Waters turned the questions on the bank executives, asking what they meant to do about the student debt crisis: "What are you guys doing to help us with the student loan debt?" The IRS is part of Treasury.
Trump has broken with tradition by not voluntarily releasing his tax returns.
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