IRS Memo Says Trump Tax Returns Must Be Turned Over to Congress: WaPo

A confidential memo written by Internal Revenue Service lawyers—and obtained by The Washington Post—reportedly stipulates tax returns must be given to Congress unless the president asserts executive privilege over them. The draft memo, which was reportedly penned by a lawyer in the IRS’s Office of Legal Counsel, states the disclosure of tax returns to Congress “is mandatory, requiring the Secretary to disclose returns, and return information, requested by the tax-writing Chairs.” The memo also stated the law does “not allow the Secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information” and declared the “only basis” for the agency to refuse turning over the returns in face of a congressional subpoena was an “invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege.” The memo, which was reportedly never forwarded to the Treasury Department, appears to contradict the Trump administration's reasoning for why it has blocked such requests. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week declined to comply with a subpoena from the House Ways and Means Committee for six years of Donald Trump's tax returns. Mnuchin previously cited guidance from the Justice Department as the reason behind not turning the returns over, and Trump has not asserted executive privilege over them.