Ever since current United States President Donald Trump announced his run for president in June 2015, people from both sides of the political spectrum have called on Trump to release his past tax returns. This push gained significant traction after President Trump was sworn in to office in Jan. 2017.
Since then, President Trump has refused to share his tax returns with the world. Although Steven Mnuchin, the current Secretary of the Department of Treasury, has stated that there is no legal basis for President Trump being required to hand them over to Congress or release them publicly, a legal memo uncovered earlier today, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, says otherwise.
According to the memo, which was confidentially published by the Internal Revenue Service – the only reason the public has heard of it is because The Washington Post has reportedly received a copy of the top-secret memo – tax returns are legally required to be handed over to Congress, unless, however, the standing United States president goes as far as invoking his or her executive privilege not to.
Thus far, President Trump hasn’t exercised his executive privilege to legally keep himself from being forced to release the tax returns.
The memo, which is reportedly some 10 pages in length, went as far as specifically referring to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, stating that the current Internal Revenue Code, the law by which taxes in the United States work and which the Internal Revenue Service operates, “does not allow the Secretary [of the United States Department of Treasury] to exercise discretion” in reference to allowing the standing United States president from being required to disclose his or her tax returns.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the memo was completed in its current form some six or more months ago. At this time, Democrats from both the House of Representatives and the Senate were largely sharing with the American public that they were likely to require President Trump to hand over his tax returns per a law dating back to 1924.
Although it’s clear that the Internal Revenue Service is responsible for the composition and publication of the memo, the public doesn’t know exactly who is responsible for writing the memo, which was titled “Congressional Access to Returns and Return Information.”
Further, even though The Washington Post believes that the copy it uncovered was the final form of the memo, the 10-page document clearly states that it is a draft.