Pascrell Demands Mnuchin Stop Violating the Law
Excoriates Treasury Secretary for providing documents on Biden family while illegally shielding Trump
Washington, D.C., March 3, 2020
Tags: Trump's Tax Returns
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), New Jersey’s only member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, today told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin point blank that Mnuchin was breaking the law by refusing to turn over Donald Trump’s business and personal tax returns to the Committee. Since April 3, 2019, Mnuchin has refused to comply with a request from Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA-01), pursuant to Neal’s clear authority under 26 U.S.C. § 6103(f), moving heaven and earth to shield Trump’s tax returns from sunlight.
When reports surfaced earlier this month that Mnuchin was providing the private tax information of a member of the family of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to two Senate Republicans conducting a partisan fishing expedition, Rep. Pascrell wrote Mnuchin demanding a legal basis for his compliance with Republicans’ baseless investigation while at the same time stonewalling Chairman Neal’s legally required request of Trump’s tax returns. In an official Treasury reply, a Mnuchin aide accused Pascrell of incivility and refused to answer his questions.
“I wrote a letter to you and one of the members of your staff responded to that letter. I was making a comparison to the request the Chairman of this committee made under law, under 26 U.S.C. 6103, when he requested the President’s tax returns,” Pascrell said to Secretary Mnuchin. “The person who responded to me – and I’d like to talk to him personally about this – said that I was being intemperate. Being lectured on civility by someone who works for President Trump is like taking chivalry lessons from Jack the Ripper. It is impossible to be polite to corruption and people who break the law. And by refusing to turn over Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns to this committee, I think you’re breaking the law.”
Pascrell continued, “we learned recently that simultaneously you’ve been offering documents to the loyal opposition. When two Republican senators asked you for the private financial information of Joe Biden’s family, your department practically tripped over themselves to provide it. You sent it over to them so fast I wonder if you stuffed it in a Fed-Ex envelope!”
Pascrell has been the leader in Congress demanding since 2017 that Trump release his tax returns for congressional review. Mnuchin appeared before the Ways and Means Committee today to attempt to justify the Trump administration’s proposed federal budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which would see billions cut from Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. Pascrell has led efforts in Congress to protect key programs like these and others from Republicans’ longstanding efforts to defund them. He has also worked to improve Social Security and ensure its viability for decades to come.
Rep. Pascrell’s full exchange with Secretary Mnuchin can be viewed here.