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Mulvaney Says Democrats Will Never See Trump’s Tax Returns

“They just want the attention on the issue because they don’t want to talk to us about policy.”

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Democrats will never get Trump’s tax returns on Fox News Sunday, calling the issue a “political stunt.”

“They just want the attention on the issue because they don’t want to talk to us about policy,” Mulvaney said. The call to make the President’s financial records transparent has to do with potential conflicts of interests. President Trump has not put his financial assets in a blind trust, and the policies his administration has enacted could be benefitting his business interests.

The President previously said he would release his tax returns during the 2016 elections as soon as he completed an IRS audit. Three years later on April 7, 2019, President Trump gave an update on his alleged audit:

“We’re under audit, despite what people said, and we’re working that out. I’m always under audit, it seems. But I’ve been under audit for many years because the numbers are big, and I guess when you have a name, you’re audited. But until such time as I’m not under audit, I would not be inclined to do that.”

Mulvaney’s comment comes in response to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) formally requesting President Trump’s tax returns last week. Neal has requested six years of President Trump’s returns from 2013-2018, in addition to tax returns from eight of the president’s business entities. The IRS code Neal cited in his letter gives him the authority to request tax documents from anyone.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said there was “no legal ground” for the Trump’s legal team to refuse Neal’s IRS request.

Mr. Mulvaney served as President Trump’s director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and director of Management and Budget before taking over as acting Chief of Staff. Mulvaney’s tenure at the CFPB resulted in a spike in consumer complaints and a 75% reduction in publicly announced enforcement actions. As reported by the Intercept, the CFPB charged a man $1 dollar for operating an eight-year scam targeting veterans. The man, Mark Corbett, was illegally exchanging American service people’s pensions for “cash advances” that carried deceptive interest rates.

Freshman Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., a new member of the House Financial Services Committee and a consumer protection expert, disavowed the $1 dollar fine, part of a broader trend that has been labeled the “Mulvaney discount.” After a temporary freeze on consumer protection work when Mulvaney took over, the then-acting director of the CFPB actively shrunk fines on multiple actors deemed responsible for acting unlawfully. “After President Trump’s election, there’s no reason to think that those working in consumer financial services decided to begin complying with the law at an unheard-of rate,” said Rep. Porter.

Mulvaney’s lax attitude on protecting consumers and punishing financial crime lends reason to hold his opinion on President Trump’s tax returns with skepticism. The President has yet to announce a date for the release of the financial documents, and the situation could lead to an extensive legal battle.

Featured Image: Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by Gage Skidmore). President Donald J. Trump visits Suresnes American Cemetery located outside Paris, as part of Veterans Day and commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the Nov. 11, 1918 armistice that ended World War I, Nov. 11, 2018. DOD (Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro)
Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a co-owner Citizen Truth.

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