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Steven Mnuchin: ‘I will follow the law’ on any request for presidential tax returns

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he will “follow the law” if Congress issues a request for any of President Trump’s personal or business tax returns.

“The answer is, if I receive a request, which I presume from what I’ve read in the press I will receive, I will consult with the legal department within Treasury and I will follow the law,” Mr. Mnuchin told House lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

House Democrats are preparing a legal case for requesting Mr. Trump’s tax returns.

Under existing law, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, Massachusetts Democrat, can request taxpayer information from the Treasury Department for review.

“I’m not aware there’s ever been a request for an elected official’s tax return, but we will follow the law and we will protect the president as we would protect any individual taxpayer under their rights,” Mr. Mnuchin said in testimony to Mr. Neal’s committee.

Mr. Trump, citing an ongoing audit, broke with decades of precedent and declined to release any tax returns during the 2016 campaign.

He later said the American people don’t care about his tax returns, noting that he won the election.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley has said he would like his panel to have the returns as well if Mr. Neal requests them, and that he doesn’t want House Democrats to use them for political purposes.

Under the law, the chairmen of Congress’s tax-writing committees can request the returns. But there is an ongoing legal debate over the issue, which could well end up in the courts if Democrats follow through on the request.

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