Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks as President Donald Trump looks on

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks as President Donald Trump looks on during a swearing-in ceremony in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Progressives Demand House Dems Hold Mnuchin in Contempt for Defying Subpoena for Trump's Tax Returns

"It is unconscionable for our country to have a Treasury secretary who repeatedly shows us that he will continue to obstruct justice at every turn in order to do Trump's bidding."

Jessica Corbett

Progressive groups on Friday called on House Democrats to hold Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with a subpoena for President Donald Trump's tax returns.

Last week, as Common Dreams reported, after Mnuchin repeatedly rejected lawmakers' request for six years of Trump's tax returns, the House Ways and Means Committee subpoenaed both Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

Mnuchin maintained his position in a one-page letter (pdf) to the committee's chairman, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), on Friday, writing that the Justice Department has determined that "the committee's request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose."

The Treasury secretary's decision to defy the committee's 5pm Friday deadline all but guarantees a court fight over the documents, and Neal said in a statement Friday he is "consulting with counsel on how best to enforce the subpoenas moving forward." The chairman also noted that "the law provides clear statutory authority for [him] to request and receive access to tax returns and return information."

The progressive advocacy groups Stand Up America and Tax March, in response to Mnuchin's letter, urged House Democrats to hold him in contempt of Congress.

"It is unconscionable for our country to have a Treasury secretary who repeatedly shows us that he will continue to obstruct justice at every turn in order to do Trump's bidding," Tax March executive director Maura Quint said in a statement. "Neither Mnuchin nor Donald Trump is above the law."

"This is why it's imperative for Chairman Neal to do everything within his power to defend Congress's constitutional powers and hold Mnuchin in contempt of Congress," she continued. "The American people deserve better and justice cannot wait."

"By willfully failing to meet this deadline, Secretary Mnuchin has made a mockery of Congress and the Constitution that empowers the legislative branch to conduct oversight of the executive branch."
—Ryan Thomas, Stand Up America

Stand Up America spokesperson Ryan Thomas concurred, pointing out that "compliance was not optional."

"By willfully failing to meet this deadline," he said, "Secretary Mnuchin has made a mockery of Congress and the Constitution that empowers the legislative branch to conduct oversight of the executive branch."

Thomas implored Neal to "swiftly begin proceedings to hold Secretary Mnuchin in contempt of Congress and to immediately take him to court to force the administration to comply with this lawful request."

"These blatant attempts to hide the truth from the American people are illegal," he added. "It is far past time for Secretary Mnuchin to stop protecting Donald Trump and follow the letter of the law by complying with this request."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Senate Dems Help Torpedo Resolution That Would Have Blocked $650 Million Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

"My simple question is, why in the world would the United States reward a regime that has caused such pain in Yemen with more weapons," Sanders asked after the vote. "The answer is we should not."

Brett Wilkins ·


Amnesty Scorecard Finds Twitter Failing to Protect Women From Online Abuse

"As our world has become increasingly dependent on digital spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic, it's critical that Twitter meet this moment with demonstrated commitment to improving the online experiences of all users, regardless of their identity."

Jessica Corbett ·


Filibuster Reform for Debt Ceiling Fight But Not Voting Rights or Reproductive Freedom?

"If our senators are willing to suspend the filibuster to protect our economy, they should be willing to suspend it to protect our democracy and our freedom to vote."

Jessica Corbett ·


As Senate Holds Guantánamo Hearing, Biden Urged to 'Finally End This Chapter of Injustice'

"Guantánamo is a centerpiece of the forever wars. It is a shameful symbol of racial injustice, torture, and violations of the Constitution and international law."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Unbreakable Solidarity': Kellogg's Workers Reject Contract That Would Leave New Employees Out of Benefits

"We're not willing to sell our souls for our future employees that are going to work side by side with us but not get the same pay or benefits."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo