LEAK: IRS Mystery Memo Says Trump Must Give Tax Docs to Congress…Unless He Asserts Executive Privilege
A confidential IRS draft memo says President Trump must turn over his tax documents to Congress… unless he invokes executive privilege.
A copy of the 10-page memo, which was obtained by the Washington Post, says the disclosure of tax returns to the committee “is mandatory, requiring the Secretary to disclose returns, and return information, requested by the tax-writing Chairs.”
The memo was reportedly penned by a lawyer in the Office of Chief Counsel several months ago and did not represent the agency’s “official position.”
The mystery memo is stamped “DRAFT,” does not reference Trump and it wasn’t even signed.
The author of the memo is unknown and IRS Chief Rettig and chief counsel Michael Desmond weren’t even aware of it until the Washington Post reached out to them for comment.
According to the Post, the IRS says the memo was never even forwarded to the Treasury.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin formally rejected House Dems’ request for Trump’s tax returns by arguing there is no legal standing for demanding them, however the President has not yet invoked executive privilege.
Mnuchin also defied a subpoena and refused to hand over documents requested by rabid Democrats.
The IRS memo says the law “does not allow the Secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information provided the statutory conditions are met.”
“[T]he Secretary’s obligation to disclose return and return information would not be affected by the failure of a tax writing committee . . . to state a reason for the request,” it says. It adds that the “only basis the agency’s refusal to comply with a committee’s subpoena would be the invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege.”
Secretary Mnuchin told Democrats that he’s ready to take the battle for Trump tax returns to court and now all of a sudden this mystery memo, written by a mystery lawyer surfaces in a leak to the Washington Post that argues Congress has the authority to access tax returns. How convenient.