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Justice Dept. issues a memo reaffirming Mnuchin's refusal to forward Trump's tax return to Congress



Justice Department released on Friday Its legal rationale for refusing to convey President Trump's tax returns to Congress is that House Democrats want to publish the documents, which is "not a legitimate legal purpose."

Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin refused to hand over the documents prematurely In a letter to the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), He wrote for months that the committee's demand was "unprecedented "and could have" permanent consequences for all taxpayers, "Mnuchin said he has found that the application should be rejected.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Who is a member of the committee, denied that the legislature used a "pre-written" basis – or dubious justification – for claiming the materials.

The President calls on a Cabinet Secretary to ignore the law to protect him. The secretary adopts the legal duties of the IRS Commissioner and the OLC brings these flimsy, false excuses that do not stand up in court, "he wrote on Twitter.

Legal analysts said Mnuchin's decision was a very unusual move, given the language of the law, and some Democrats from the House of Representatives had announced they would take legal action to get a court to intervene. A confidential law text of the Internal Revenue Service obtained by the Washington Post states that the tax return must be passed on to the Congress – unless the President asserts the executive privilege which he did not do in this case .

The fight for president's tax records is one of several ongoing battles between the Congressional Democrats and the White House for access to documents and witnesses. These things seem to be in court.

The government has fought particularly hard against Congressional demands for Trump's financial documents. Trump sued to prevent the House Oversight Committee from receiving records from its audit firm, despite a federal judge ruling against the president last month. Appeal is filed against the case.

The Memo on Trump's Taxes is written in part in anticipation of the anticipated litigation, and at one point its author, Deputy Attorney General Steven A. Engel, suggested that judges should hold back to intervene in such disputes.

"Separated from the democratic process, the federal courts are not well equipped to guess the action of the political branches by scrutinizing their motives," wrote Engel in the 33-page memo. "These restrictions do not apply to the executive, which acts as politically responsible control of the legislature."

The Ways and Means Committee is seeking tax returns and other business information from Trump's Law from 2013 to 2018, which states that the Treasury "issues" tax filing information upon "written request" by the chairman of that body. The committee issued subpoenas for the records last month.

Individual tax returns are among the US Government's most closely guarded secrets, in part due to a 1976 law designed to curb abuse by the Nixon government. Returns were used for political purposes.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the Committee's request is merely party-political measures resulting from Trump's refusal to publish its tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign. For decades, major presidential candidates have been publishing their tax returns.

The memo cited statements by leading Democrats during the election campaign and after Trump became president to argue that Democrats are trying to cross important boundaries between executive and legislative short-term political gain.

"The Chairman's demand that the Ministry of Finance implement the President's tax returns for the obvious purpose of publication was an unprecedented use of the committee's authority and led to a serious risk of abuse," Engel said in the memo, which is dated Thursday , "Congress has not constitutionally granted the right to enforce a disclosure of confidential information by the executive, which serves no legitimate legislative purpose."

Engel said that while the executive should "pay respect and respect to Congress, it does not have to treat it as indisputable".

The president, wrote Engel, "is at the head of an equal government branch and is separately responsible to the people for the faithful responsibility of his responsibility." The Ministry of Finance therefore had the responsibility to confirm for himself that the Chairman's motion was a legitimate legislative purpose. "


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