House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked on Wednesday about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's refusal to hand over President Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, and her thoughts turned toward Mnuchin behind bars.
Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) asked for the documents, using his authority under a 1924 law that states they "shall" be provided. Mnuchin on Monday rejected the Democrats' request, despite the clear-cut language of the law. "It says 'shall,'" Pelosi said. "It doesn't say 'may,' 'should,' 'could,' 'under certain circumstances,' it says 'shall' give those tax returns to the Ways and Means chairman."
The Washington Post's Robert Costa asked Pelosi if Mnuchin could be held in contempt, adding, "some Democrats have even raised the prospect of arresting the Treasury Secretary if he does not comply with congressional demands." As the audience clapped, Pelosi revealed that "we do have a little jail down in the basement of the Capitol, but if we were arresting all the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation, and I'm not for that." Neal is the one plotting the course, Pelosi said, adding that there are "several options. One of them is to go directly to court."