Mnuchin says he’ll protect Trump privacy if taxes requested

For Richard Nixon, the fatal “third rail” was his secret tapes. For Trump, it may be his secret tax returns.

That issue will test the true resolve of Congress to show its independence. While they can’t jail the President, they can cite Mnuchin for contempt of Congress, and the courts have been sympathetic to that in the past.

A close parallel happened in 1982, after the director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Anne Gorsuch Burford, refused to hand over documents related to the mismanagement of a $1.6 billion toxic waste superfund. When Congress passed a citation for contempt, the U.S. attorney refused to prosecute, asking a federal court to instead rule the citation unconstitutional. The court refused, so President Reagan’s team had to give up the documents to keep Burford out of jail.

I think we know that Trump will not follow Reagan’s example and give up the documents to keep Mnuchin out of jail, so hilarity should ensue! I think a little jail time for Mnuchin would be fun for everyone!

Well, maybe not everyone, but certainly for me!

To be fair, ol’ Munchkin didn’t actually say he would refuse the request. That’s just how people have interpreted his statement. He said, “We will examine the request and we will follow the law … and we will protect the president as we would protect any taxpayer.”

16 thoughts on “Mnuchin says he’ll protect Trump privacy if taxes requested

  1. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Steve Mnuchin won’t be willing to spend 10 minutes in jail, much less any substantial amount of time, to protect Donald Trump from anything.

  2. I guess if Mnunchkin goes to jail, we’ll see if he really represents the Lollipop Guild.

  3. This has about as much merit as the Trump/Russia collusion drum you have been beating for the last 2 years!

    Let’s focus on what is going right here not push the false narrative and irresponsibility reporting that the mainstream media is pushing

    1. I have never seen any evidence that Trump personally colluded with Russia regarding the 2016 election.

      His campaign – yes, but him personally – no.

      However, he has lied constantly to cover up what his minions have done.

      1. We will see what comes from the Mueller report

        I urge you to look at the congressional testimony that has been released over the last weeks that shows the abuse that was previlant in the previous regime and inside of the Hillary campaign.

        I will leave you with 1 question, what was on Hillary’s e mail server and how is that playing into the investigation into the e mail server? When the justice department told the FBI to not charge Hillary with the crimes that she committed the system is broken!

    1. Oh, when was it he promised he was going to release his returns? I think he once said he’d put them out when he won the nomination. That was back in the olden days, when his lies/day ratio was still in the single digits. This info should have come out long ago, we have a right and a need to know who he’s in debt to. He has destroyed any basis for believing what he says on the subject.

    2. No I have reviewed the released congressional testimony.

      I urge you to do the same.

      There is admission of the abused that took place that the mainstream media will not cover yet they continue to cover the Russia/Trump connection that was completely fabricated.

      Libs are desperate since they could find nothing on the collusion and have now moved back to tax returns as a way to deflect and try to control the public perception of the president.

      You are blatantly being lied too and it’s not just.

      The returns that need to be looked at are those of the not for profit Clinton Foundation.

      If I am wrong I will be the first to admit it. But I expect all that continue to beat this drum to do the same and thank the current administration for what they are doing for you and I to make America sustainable again.

      Get your popcorn, it will get interesting!

      1. I’m perfectly fine with throwing Hillary in the same jail cell as Trump. Heck, make a reality show of it.

      2. NY looked at both foundations, as did the US attorney for Utah for the clinton foundation.
        None of them sought charges against the Clinton Foundation.
        The Trump foundation was shut down by NY because it violated every law on NY’s books

  4. I am not relying on congressional testimony to say we need to see the returns, you’re overcomplicating this.

    Yes I am being unjustly lied to. Trump is doing the lying. In bulk. Bucking the norm to not release his returns suggests – though doesn’t prove – that he has something to hide. A man with 4-6 bankruptcies in his past is, on the face of it, bad with his money. It’s just due diligence to look at his returns and see who is holding his marker.

    Of course there is evidence of collusion: the meeting with Russians at Trump Tower that no one denies. There is evidence of obstruction: he said on TV that he fired Comey to take off the pressure from the Russia investigation. If you want to quibble about whether that rises to the standard of proof, be my guest. I’ll just say you have faith in the man that he hasn’t earned.

    If you really had to go to “what about Clinton”, thanks for leaving Benghazi out of it.

    I disagree that any of this is interesting. It is sordid, depressing, and no more interesting (or less necessary) than running through a phone tree at your internet provider to get a bogus charge cleared.

    Ironically, wasn’t “sustainable” one of the words that Trump officials suggest you not use in your application for research funding?

  5. I disagree with the idea that we have a “right” to Donald Trump’s tax returns. There is in fact a law making it a crime to release his returns without his authorization (though probably with some exceptions I am not aware of). However, it has been the tradition for some time that presidential candidates make their recent returns public. To the best of my knowledge all major candidates, with the exception of Trump, have done so since that tradition was established. Nature Mom makes some very legitimate points about why the information in a candidates returns is important for voters to know when making their decision on whom to vote for. But voters were aware that Trump was defying tradition in refusing and were free to infer that the returns would contain information harmful to Trump. Unfortunately, a majority of voters in states with the majority of electoral votes voted for him anyway.

    George Washington started a tradition of a President not serving more than two terms. That tradition was broken by FDR and a constitutional amendment was passed almost immediately after his death mandating a two term limit. It is quite possible legislation will be passed requiring the release of tax returns by presidential candidates after Trump leaves office, but that is not the law now. Steve Mnuchin simply stated that his department would safeguard Trump’s returns as required by law for all taxpayers. He wasn’t saying he would go to jail rather than release them if required by law to do so. I am not sure if congressional committees have the right to subpoena returns from the IRS, but I would think they probably do. But if they do, I am not sure under what circumstances they would be legally allowed to make information from those returns public. But I have no doubt if it was illegal to release the information it would be leaked almost immediately.

  6. “We” don’t have a right to Trump’s returns, but the Congress does. As Mnuchin correctly stated, Treasury would have to treat a request for the President’s returns exactly the same way they would with anyone else.

    They would have to do the same thing with the President as they would with any other citizen – state and prove a specific need for those returns. Congress can’t just ask for my tax returns, but they can subpoena them if they are material to an investigation. (Let’s say there seemed to be a history of large transfers of money between a senior public official and me.)

    In Trump’s case, he’s being investigated for (1) using the office to enrich himself personally; (2) corruption related to his ties to Russia. Clearly his returns would be relevant to both investigations, but the subpoena would have to be quite specific about what it was investigating, and would have to establish why the tax returns were needed. Subpoenas can’t be used for fishing expeditions, so Congress can’t just say “Hand them over.”

    HOWEVER – even if they can get the returns, this does not give them the right to make those returns public, and nothing in the law seems to justify such an action. In fact, the opposite seems to be true: “Leaking private tax information of anyone, even that of the president or other high profile officials, comes with stiff penalties, primarily up to five years in prison,” wrote Colin Wilhelm in the Washington Examiner. “That may put congressional Democrats in the awkward spot of obtaining politically damaging information about Trump that would be a felony to divulge.”

    In other words, “we” don’t have the (legal) right to see them, and if the Congress gets them, they are forbidden to make them public, so it does not seem likely that we will see them, absent some shenanigans.

    1. When you’re right, you’re right Scoopy. I never meant he had to release his returns before the election. I had just assumed someone would read them into the record once Congress got them.
      But my morbid curiosity says, Come ooooon, shenanigans!!

      fwald, “not wanting everyone to know you’re a fucking moron” is a legit reason not to release your taxes. We – well not me, probably not you, not the voting public, but the electoral college – bought this pig (and I mean pig) in a poke. We’re stuck with him.

  7. “To the best of my knowledge all major candidates, with the exception of Trump, have done so since that tradition was established.”

    No major candidate before Trump was ever a multi-billionaire developer, either… just saying here that Trump might have very good reason for wanting his tax returns kept secret – – he doesn’t want his competitors to see them.

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