The Department of Justice released an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel agreeing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision not to comply with a House subpoena from Democrats to turn over the president’s tax returns.
The OLC gave the same reasons for denying the Democrats’ request as Mnuchin.
Last month, Mnuchin said he consulted with the Department of Justice in making the decision not to hand over the returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, saying the request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”
In its opinion Friday, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel said that it advised the Treasury Department to deny the request.
“While the Executive Branch should accord due deference and respect to congressional requests, Treasury was not obliged to accept the Committee’s stated purpose without question, and based on all the facts and circumstances, we agreed that the Committee lacked a legitimate legislative purpose for its request,” the opinion states.
Democrats can spin the request for Trump’s taxes as much as they want but the bottom line is there is no legitimate reason for investigating the president’s taxes. The request was politically motivated to its core with the sole purpose of this fishing expedition being to embarrass the president of the United States.
The Justice Department’s memo, written by Steven Engel, the Senate-confirmed head of the Office of Legal Counsel, declared: “No one could reasonably believe that the committee seeks six years of President Trump’s tax returns because of a newly discovered interest in legislating on the presidential-audit process.”
Engel said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “quite reasonably, concluded that Chairman Neal had not articulated the real reason for his request. The chairman’s request that Treasury turn over the president’s tax returns, for the apparent purpose of making them public, amounted to an unprecedented use of the committee’s authority and raised a serious risk of abuse.”
The Justice Department’s new legal memo memorializes advice given to the U.S. Treasury Department, which had resisted, for weeks, disclosing the requested tax records of Trump and related business entities.
Democrats issued a fake subpoena hoping to generate fake news. DoJ wasn’t having any of it.
Engel was being kind to Rep. Neal. Everyone older than five years old knows exactly what the Democrats were trying to do. So the next time Democrats start railing against Trump for “abuse of power,” maybe someone should remind them of their own flagrant violation of the law and the rules.