Treasury's Mnuchin says he will try to shield Trump tax returns from Congress
Steve Mnuchin (Screen Capture)

The U.S. Treasury will work to shield President Donald Trump from a congressional request to see his tax returns, protecting his privacy just like it would for any taxpayer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday.

Democrats took control of the House of Representatives this year and are expected to demand to see Trump’s past tax returns, hoping the documents will help to identify any conflicts of interest posed by Trump’s global business empire.

Trump defied decades of precedent as a presidential candidate by refusing to release his tax documents and has continued to keep them under wraps as president, saying his returns were under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Mnuchin told lawmakers on Thursday he has met with legal experts at the Treasury to discuss the expected request from Democrats.

“We will protect the president as we would protect any individual taxpayer under their rights,” Mnuchin said at a House hearing.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)