Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) confronted Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for his refusal to release President Donald Trumps tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.

“By refusing to turn over Donald Trump’s business and personal tax returns to this committee, I think you’re breaking the law,” Pascrell said. “Your stated reasons for stonewalling our requests, you never cite any superseding legal basis. The only thing you suffer is smug rhetoric and staggering lies,” he added later.

Mnuchin replied that he found Pascrell’s assessment “offensive” and said that he’s relying on legal counsel for his decision. “In all due respect, I am not breaking the law. You have a different interpretation. You’re not a judge and this will be determined by a court,” he told Pascrell.

“Neither are you,” answered Pacrell.


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Mnuchin has faced similar accusations from House Democrats after not complying with subpoenas for Trump’s tax returns last year. 

The House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal formally requested the President’s personal and business tax returns last April. That action escalated into subpoenas in May, in which Neal claimed he needed Trump’s taxes to conduct oversight of the IRS’s presidential audit.

The Justice Department released in an opinion in June sided with Mnuchin’s refusals to hand over Trump’s tax returns and stated that demand for tax information amounted to an “unprecedented” use of the committee’s authority and raised a “serious risk of abuse.”

The U.S. Supreme Court then decided in December that it would consider whether the House and a New York prosecutor can subpoena Trump’s financial records. The cases are set to be heard in March, and rulings are expected by June during the presidential race.

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