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Mnuchin schooled on law that says turn over Trump’s taxes or face 5 years in prison: ‘There is no wriggle room’

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On Thursday, Pulitzer Prize-winning business writer David Cay Johnston wrote an editorial laying out the hard truth for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: he has no legal choice but to hand over President Donald Trump’s tax returns to Congress. The law says he must.

“The reason will no doubt surprise those who think Trump can thumb his nose at the law governing Congressional access to anyone’s tax returns, including his,” wrote Johnston. “It will for sure shock Trump, who claims that ‘the law is 100 percent on my side.'”

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But not so: “Under Section 6103 of our tax code, Treasury officials ‘shall’ turn over the tax returns ‘upon written request’ of the chair of either Congressional tax committee or the federal employee who runs the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. No request has ever been refused, a host of former Congressional tax aides tell me.”

Furthermore, he wrote, there is “a law requiring every federal ’employee’ who touches the tax system to do their duty or be removed from office,” fined up to $10,000, and imprisoned for up to five years.

When push comes to shove, said Johnston, Mnuchin won’t risk it, as removal from office would financially ruin him. IRS commissioner Charles Rettig could lose his law license, as well.

But even if they do comply, said Johnston, they may still have legal problems, thanks to “the provision requiring removal from office for anyone who ‘conspires or colludes with any other person.'”

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“Mnuchin has acknowledged that Treasury officials talked with White House officials. And Rettig indicated he has spoken with Mnuchin and others at Treasury,” concluded Johnston. “How many others were in the loop? Maybe Congressional hearings will tell us.”


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‘Trump literally just confessed to the crime’: Pennsylvania Democrat

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Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) believes President Donald Trump confessed to bribing or extorting Ukraine in an effort to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

The president told reporters Monday morning at the United Nations that he had withheld foreign aid from Ukraine as he discussed alleged corruption involving Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

"It's very important to talk about corruption," Trump. "If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?...It's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption."

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Trump’s jumbled response to Ukraine scandal is a strong signal of what’s to come: columnist

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On Monday, President Donald Trump denied allegations that he extorted the president of Ukraine for information about Joe Biden. “It’s a ridiculous story,” Trump said during an appearance at the United Nations.

The controversy emerged after an anonymous whistleblower in the intelligence community logged a complaint with their agency about improper behavior by the president on a phone call with a foreign leader. “It’s a partisan whistleblower,” the president added.

Previously, the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani had traveled to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Critics worry that during a conversation with the president of Ukraine about rooting out corruption in his country, Trump suggested he offer information about Biden in exchange for funding.

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FBI arrests far-right extremist who talked about ‘bombing a major U.S. news network’: report

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The FBI has arrested a member of the United States Army who allegedly talked about plans to carry out acts of violence in the U.S.

According to ABC News' Mike Levine, the arrested man "allegedly discussed plans to bomb a major U.S. news network, discussed traveling to Ukraine to fight with violent far-right group, and allegedly distributed info online on how to build bombs."

Levine also reports that the arrested man also made mention of Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who made headlines during a recent primary debate by saying he wanted to confiscate AR-15s and AK-47s. It is not known at this time if the man made a direct threat to O'Rourke, however.

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