Trump says he won't deliver tax returns to Congress

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Trump has said he isn't releasing the returns because he's been under audit, and he repeated that on Wednesday to White House reporters before leaving for a trip to Texas.

Again there is no law that forces any person to give Congress their tax returns, but Congress does not need Trump to hand them over.

In the letter, Mnuchin references Neal's preparation for the request, writing that "you too have acknowledged the unprecedented nature of the request". Mnuchin says he "looks forward to responding, " but it appears clear that Treasury won't meet the deadline and actually produce the returns.

But Democrats have long wanted Trump's tax returns to see what foreign financial dealings he may have, whether he always followed the law, and if he benefited from the 2017 Republican tax overhaul. But the White House is supposed to stay out of the decision, and Rettig said he's had no contact with anyone there.

In a hearing Wednesday morning before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Rettig declined to say whether he would comply with Democrats' request. "I built a great company", he said.

"We have completed the necessary groundwork for a request of this magnitude, and I am certain we are within our legitimate legislative, legal and oversight rights", Neal said last week.

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The California Rep. continued, reminding Mnuchin that no other secretary had imposed their own limits on the length of time a hearing could go.

But Mnuchin, who pointed to the Bahraini official waiting in his office, refused the request, saying that further delay would be "very embarrassing" for the secretary.

Waters: You're free to leave any time you want.

The secretary told Waters that he was in a time crunch and needed to be in a meeting with a high ranking Bahraini official by 5:30pm-a change to the schedule that he only informed Waters, the chair of the committee, about the day before. "If you wish to leave, you may".

The two leaders began arguing after Mnuchin asked for the hearing to end so that he could attend a meeting with Bahrain's finance minister at 5:30 Washington.

Mnuchin thought he could outsmart Waters, by getting testy, trying to play a mind game and then having the audacity to tell the senior top Democrat how to do her job and when to bang her gavel.

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"You made me an offer that I accepted", Waters said.

"The department respects congressional oversight, and we intend to review your request carefully", he wrote in a letter to Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, the Massachusetts Democrat leading the push to pry into the president's taxes. The IRS is part of Treasury. The IRS says there's no rule against subjects of an audit from publicly releasing their tax filings. Trump has promised to release the returns after a conclusion of an audit, although independent legal experts have said that an audit would not bar him from doing so. Neal said he wanted the records to be released by April 10, citing federal law that directs the information be disclosed upon request.

GOP members of the panels rose to Trump's defense.

The invocation of President Richard Nixon in defense of Trump is particularly egregious. They simply provide the service of allowing people to have the sense that if there's something wrong, then someone would have said something.

Neal has adopted a methodical approach to seeking Trump's returns. Trump's private attorneys have asked Treasury to deny the request as well.

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