Mnuchin willing to risk prison time because he is 'compromised' by Trump: Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter
Steve Mnuchin (Screen Capture)

Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston said Monday that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could be putting himself in legal jeopardy by blocking access to President Donald Trump's tax returns.


In a recent interview with The Nation, Johnston explained that Congress can obtain anyone's tax return at any time under a 1924 anti-corruption law.

Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, he said that it doesn't appear that Mnuchin plans to comply with that law.

"The likely outcome is that the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Richard Neal, will get a vote to take the president’s team to court," Johnston said.

And both Mnuchin and Charles Reddig, the IRS commissioner -- who is the person with the technical legal authority who is supposed to turn it over -- run some risk here. If they are ultimately prosecuted, which certainly wouldn’t happen during this administration, they’re at risk of five years in prison and, of course, being labeled felons which would seriously interfere with Mnuchin's going back to Wall Street and Reddig continuing to practice law as a tax avoidance lawyer."

MSNBC host Kristen Welker wondered why Trump administration officials like Mnuchin were refusing to back down.

"You have around Donald Trump people who, instead of upholding the oath they took in their office to defend the Constitution, have been compromised in one way or another by Donald and they are doing what James Comey would not. They are showing their loyalty to the boss, that's not at all what their duty requires. There is an honorable way out of this for both Mnuchin and Reddig. Resign," Johnston said .

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