May 22, 2019


Confidential draft IRS memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless president invokes executive privilege (Jeff Stein and Josh Dawsey May 21, 2019, Washington Post)

[A]ccording to the IRS memo, which has not been previously reported, 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 10-page document says the law "does not allow the Secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information provided the statutory conditions are met" and directly rejects the reason Mnuchin has cited for withholding the information.

"[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."

And there is, by definition, no basis for a privilege claim.

Posted by at May 22, 2019 12:00 AM


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