but who's surprised?
Well, it took him long enough.
Beginning in early April, the House Ways and Means Committee gave Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin a hard April 10 deadline for handing over President Trump's tax returns. It's been a few extra weeks, and Mnuchin got a few extra extensions, but he finally made it clear Friday that those tax returns aren't coming.
Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) subpoenaed Mnuchin for Trump's tax returns last week and gave him a 5 p.m. Friday deadline to hand them over. Just minutes before that deadline hit, Mnuchin sent a letter to Neal saying his "unprecedented" demand "lacks legitimate legislative purpose," and so he wouldn't be fulfilling it. The next step for Democrats in getting the returns is a lawsuit, Tax Policy Center expert Steve Rosenthal tells The Washington Post.
Of course, the Democratic demand for Trump's tax returns started long before April, with weak calls for their release sparking as early as the 2016 campaign and growing vaguely louder since. Democrats have also tried other routes to get the returns, including directly subpoenaing the president and his family. Trump has sued banks and House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to avoid complying with those subpoenas.