Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected the House Ways and Means Committee’s subpoena for six years of President Trump’s tax returns on Friday, The Washington Post reported. In a letter, Mnuchin wrote to committee chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) that his subpoena “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose,” and claimed he did not have authorization to hand over Trump’s tax returns, citing advice from the Justice Department.
In a statement, Neal wrote the law provided “clear statutory authority” for the committee chair to have access to the requested returns. “Given the Treasury Secretary’s failure to comply today, I am consulting with counsel on how best to enforce the subpoenas moving forward,” he wrote. Neal sent the subpoena last week, after a committee request for the documents was also denied by Mnuchin. According to the Post, Mnuchin’s latest denial sets up a court fight over the release of Trump’s financial records. The president broke years for precedent upon taking office by deciding not to release his tax returns, prompting speculation of what they might reveal.