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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.'”

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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Right now Donald Trump thinks he’s winning — and he might not be wrong

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Donald Trump thinks he's winning.

For months, Americans have grown accustomed to Trump in his cornered-rat mode, lashing out defensively and ruminating obsessively over the possibility of impeachment. But his tweets this week have been surprisingly cheerful, suffused with the buoyant spirits of a teenage bully who has successfully swirlied a nerd.

First, like an overexcited child on Christmas Eve who unwraps his presents too soon, Trump — overcome with the pleasures of racist sadism — tweeted on Monday night that "ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens."

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Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’

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On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.

As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.

Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:

1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."

Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR

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Rick Wilson hilariously ridicules the ‘formal flip-flops’ and ‘dress cargo pants’ worn by Florida Trump supporters

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Republican strategist Rick Wilson mocked the attire of the Donald Trump supporters who were bused in from around Florida for his official campaign kickoff in Orlando.

Wilson, a Florida man himself, joined MSNBC's Brian Williams for post-rally analysis on "The 11th Hour."

Williams played a clip of a Trump supporter with sleeveless Trump T-shirt identifying her as a "proud member of the basket of deplorables" explaining why she'll vote to re-elect the president in 2020.

"The main reason? Because he’s one of the best presidents we’ve had for a very long time," the woman argued. "Very long time."

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