Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin notified House Democrats on Monday that he will not turn over President Trump's tax returns, claiming that the request from the Ways and Means Committee "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose."
Under a 1924 law, Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) is one of just a few lawmakers with the authority to request the president's tax returns, and he asked the IRS for six years of Trump's business and personal returns. In his letter to Neal, Mnuchin said he spoke with officials in the Justice Department and concluded the IRS is "not authorized to disclose the requested returns and return information." He did not explain their reasoning. The law in question does not require Neal to have a legislative purpose.
Democrats argue that to perform their oversight duties, they need to see Trump's tax returns, but Mnuchin says providing them could potentially violate Trump's right to privacy. This move will almost certainly trigger a legal battle, with Democrats expected to file a lawsuit in order to have a federal judge rule on the issue.