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IRS memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless president invokes executive privilege

By APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch follow APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   2019 May 21, 6:38pm 334 views   3 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    

Trump's own administration demands he turn over the last evidence of his career of evil and financial crime.


Confidential draft IRS memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless president invokes executive privilege

President Trump, shown above April 15, has been locked in a battle with House Democrats over the disclosure of his tax returns to congressional committees. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
By Jeff Stein and
Josh Dawsey May 21 at 6:46 PM
A confidential Internal Revenue Service legal memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless the president takes the rare step of asserting executive privilege, according to a copy of the memo obtained by The Washington Post.

The memo contradicts the Trump administration’s justification for denying lawmakers’ request for President Trump’s tax returns, exposing fissures in the executive branch.

Trump has refused to turn over his tax returns but has not invoked executive privilege. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has instead denied the returns by arguing there is no legislative purpose for demanding them.

But according 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.”

Pascrell warns of ‘crisis’ after Treasury blocks Trump’s taxes
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) on May 17 slammed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for refusing to give President Trump's tax returns to Congress. (JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

The memo is the first sign of potential dissent within the administration over its approach to the tax returns issue. The IRS said the memo, titled “Congressional Access to Returns and Return Information,” was a draft document written by a lawyer in the Office of Chief Counsel and did not represent the agency’s “official position.” The memo is stamped “DRAFT,” it is not signed, and it does not reference Trump.

[Read the memo.]

The agency says the memo was prepared in the fall. At the time, Democrats were making clear they probably would seek copies of Trump’s tax returns under a 1924 law that states that the treasury secretary “shall furnish” tax returns to Congress.

Precisely who wrote the memo and reviewed it could not be learned. The agency says IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and current chief counsel Michael Desmond, who was confirmed by the Senate in February, were not familiar with it until a Post inquiry this week. The IRS says it was never forwarded to Treasury.

Executive privilege is generally defined as the president’s ability to deny requests for information about internal administration talks and deliberations.

Trump criticizes judge in financial records case
President Trump on May 20 criticized U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta, who refused to block a congressional inquiry into the president’s financial records. (The Washington Post)

On Friday, Mnuchin rejected a subpoena from the House Ways and Means Committee to turn over the tax returns, a move that probably will now lead to a court battle. Mnuchin has criticized the demands as harassment that could be directed against any political enemy, arguing Congress lacks a “legitimate legislative purpose” in seeking the documents.

Breaking with precedent, Trump has refused to provide tax returns, saying without evidence they are under audit.

Mnuchin and other senior staff members never reviewed the IRS memo, according to a Treasury spokesman. But the spokesman said it did not undermine the department’s argument that handing over the president’s tax returns would run afoul of the Constitution’s mandate that information given to Congress must pertain to legislative issues.

The spokesman said the secretary is following a legal analysis from the Justice Department that he “may not produce the requested private tax return information.” Both agencies have denied requests for copies of the Justice Department’s advice to Treasury.

Some legal experts said the memo provides further evidence that the Trump administration is using shaky legal foundations to withhold the tax returns.

“The memo is clear in its interpretation of the law that the IRS shall furnish this information,” said William Lowrance, who served for about two decades as an attorney in the IRS chief counsel’s office and reviewed the memo at the request of The Post.
1   Tenpoundbass   ignore (15)   2019 May 21, 6:45pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Sorry guys, nobody at the IRS wants to own up to it, in fact it has "DRAFT" stamped on it.
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.

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.
2   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (49)   2019 May 21, 7:00pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

It also has a page that says THIS PAGE LEFT BLANK ON PURPOSE
3   BigFrank   ignore (0)   2019 May 22, 3:55pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tee. Dee. Ess!!!!

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