Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin insisted on Wednesday that he had not taken "any direction" from the White House when deciding to buck the law and refuse to release President Donald Trump's tax returns to Congress.
"This has historically been a function delegated to the IRS commissioner," Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) noted. "Was there a reason you didn’t trust the IRS Commissioner to handle this? Was there a meeting between IRS and Treasury leaders directing the IRS to stand aside or stand down on this? "
"And have you discussed Chairman Neal’s request with the president or anyone in the White House? Did you get any direction on how to handle this matter from the president?" Coons asked.
"I have not discussed this with the president or anybody in the White House," Mnuchin replied. "Again, I just want to clarify one of the things I publicly said earlier is with our legal department originally early on in this process, before we received any request, did have a discussion but it was not to seek guidance or anything else. That was way before we received any request. That was just in the legal department."
"I have not had any discussions with the president or taken any direction from him or anybody else in the White House on this issue," he added. "I have had many conversations with our legal department and the IRS’s legal department to make sure that we’re interpreting these issues correctly."
Watch the video below from C-SPAN.