April 15, 2019 / 1:03 PM / 4 months ago

Mnuchin says 'analyzing the law' on Trump tax return request

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday he will follow the law regarding Congress’ request for U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns but reiterated his concerns about lawmakers’ demands for the documents.

“We’re analyzing the law, we’re consulting with the Department of Justice,” Mnuchin said in an interview on Fox Business Network.

Congressional Democrats and the Trump administration are headed for a legal showdown after House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal imposed an April 23 deadline for the documents.

“I will follow the law,” Mnuchin told the cable network, adding that he would also review related “constitutional issues” carefully. He is involved in the decision since the department has oversight of the IRS.

Mnuchin reiterated his concern that Democrats’ demand could lead the federal tax agency to become a tool for political disputes.

Trump bucked decades of tradition by not releasing his tax returns when he ran for the White House in 2016 and won.

The president last week said people do not care about his tax returns and repeated that he would release them except that they are being audited by the IRS, but offered no evidence of the agency’s review. Tax experts have said an IRS audit would not prevent an individual from making their returns public.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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