An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lawyer has written a memo to the Treasury Department saying they must comply with the numerous committee requests to release President Donald Trump‘s tax returns, as reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had previously denied access to Trump’s tax information, and he has yet to respond to the IRS’s demand.

The agency must disclose Trump’s taxes according to the IRS, which writes it “is mandatory, requiring the Secretary to disclose returns, and return information, requested by the tax-writing Chairs.” It also adds how the law “does not allow the Secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information provided the statutory conditions are met,” responding to Mnuchin’s belief that Congress has no legislative need to see Trump’s tax information.

Speaking with Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Virginia) at a House Financial Services Committee hearing, Mnuchin revealed he first learned of the memo through the Post‘s report and it had not arrived on his desk by that point. “We’re trying to find out who wrote the memo, where it came from, when it was and why it wasn’t distributed,” Mnuchin said.



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Mnuchin does not believe the memo is necessarily contradicting his own legal conclusion, saying how it’s “addressing a different issue, and is not addressing the issue that we and the Department of Justice looked at.” The Treasury Secretary seems to think the courts might need to resolve the dispute, adding, “When it comes to constitutional issues, there could be different interpretations and that’s why there’s a third branch of government.”

Breaking with a longstanding political tradition, Trump did not divulge his tax information during the 2016 presidential election. It was a move that incurred harsh criticism from Democrats, who are currently inquiring to acquire Trump’s tax information through subpoenas.

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