CREW is suing the Department of Treasury due to the Internal Revenue Service’s failure to disclose records following our May 28, 2019 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The requested records are those underlying the IRS’s refusal to comply with a lawful request from Congress for the disclosure of Trump’s tax returns.
In May 2019, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal subpoenaed the IRS and Treasury Department, requesting six years of Trump’s tax returns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to comply with the subpoena, a decision that conflicted with a draft internal memo stating that disclosure of tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee is “mandatory,” unless the president asserts executive privilege. Trump did not exert executive privilege nor did the documents meet standards that would require executive privilege.
CREW’s initial FOIA requested communications on tax returns and advice from IRS counsel, including the draft internal memo. It also requested documents about any instances since 2001 in which the IRS disclosed tax returns to congressional committees, and any instances in which they declined.
To this date, CREW has not received any records in response to the FOIA request. Against the backdrop of the impeachment inquiry, it is of utmost importance that Mnuchin and the IRS’s rationale behind keeping Trump’s tax returns secret, as well as the likely unprecedented nature of refusing a lawful request from Congress, are disclosed to the public.