Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrives to testify on "The President's FY2020 Budget Proposal" before the House Ways and Means Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on March 14, 2019
Washington (AFP) - US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he would “follow the law” if Congress requested President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Trump has refused to release the documents, in stark contrast to all previous presidents and presidential candidates in modern times.
But the opposition Democrats, who control of the lower house of Congress, are expected to demand the records to delve into Trump’s business ties, in particular with Russia.
In a contentious sparring session during testimony before the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Mnuchin was asked what he would do if he received a request.
“I will consult with the legal department within Treasury and I will follow the law,” he replied.
He noted that he was not aware of the Treasury ever having received a request to release tax information for an elected official.
Trump, a self-declared billionaire, released a less detailed financial statement but has kept his tax returns private, fueling speculation about his sources of revenue and his net worth.
He has claimed he could not release them because he was under audit, an explanation regarded as implausible by his political opponents.
Trump nominated Charles Rettig to head the US tax agency, the Internal Revenue Service, after the official had written an article backing the president’s controversial stance.