Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defied the House’s command to turn over President Donald Trump’s tax returns, violating a century old law that requires the administration to do so.
During an interview with the Washington Post‘s Robert Costa, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested that Democrats could move to arrest Mnuchin if he continues to violate the law, exercising a little-used but well-recognized power against those found in contempt of Congress — although she personally wasn’t there yet.
“As the law says, the administration ‘shall’ give. Shall. It doesn’t say ‘may,’ ‘should,’ ‘could,’ ‘under certain circumstances,’ it says ‘shall’ give those tax returns to the Ways and Means chairman,” said Pelosi.
“How far can you go on that front?” Costa pressed her. “Could you hold the Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin in contempt? Some Democrats have even raised the prospect of arresting the Treasury Secretary if he does not comply with congressional demands.”
“Well let me just say that we do have a little jail down in the basement of the Capitol,” said Pelosi, to a roomful of laughter. “But if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation, and I’m not for that.”
She added that Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) has options short of arrest to compel the release of Trump’s tax returns.
The last time Congress used its contempt powers to arrest an administration official was the 1930s, although it has held ten officials in contempt since 1975.
Trump has adamantly refused to release his tax returns, breaking a bipartisan tradition going back at least 40 years.
A blockbuster report by The New York Times on Tuesday revealed that during a ten year period in the late 80s and early 90s, Trump reported over $1 billion in business losses and used it to avoid paying any income tax for eight of those years.
.@costareports: "Could you hold the Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin in contempt? Some Democrats have even raised the prospect of arresting the Treasury Secretary if he does not comply…"
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 8, 2019
Trump openly solicits payment to US treasury for his ‘approval’ of TikTok sale – which he is forcing
President Donald Trump says he is allowing Microsoft to purchase the U.S. assets of the popular Beijing-based TikTok social media video sharing app, in a sale Trump personally is forcing.
In discussing what he sees as the broad portions of an agreement the President used a real estate term to openly solicit the payment that would have to be made to the U.S. Treasury.
"I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the U.S. Treasury of the United States, because we're making it possible for this deal to happen," Trump told reporters Monday afternoon.
Andrew Cuomo rips Trump like never before: ‘This was the worst government blunder in modern history’
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) on Monday accused President Donald Trump of presiding over "the worse government blunder in modern history."
At his daily COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo said that it was time for the president to hit the "reset button" on his handling of the pandemic.
"If we don't tell the truth on the reset, COVID will never end," the New York governor explained. "It will ricochet across the country. It will just bounce back and forth."
"This was a colossal blunder -- how COVID was handled by this federal government," he continued. "Shame on all of you. Six months, lives lost. Hit the reset button, yes."
Trump snaps at Jim Acosta for reminding him of coronavirus death toll: ‘Fake news CNN’
President Donald Trump on Monday snapped at CNN's Jim Acosta when he reminded the president that the novel coronavirus so far has killed 155,000 Americans.
During a question-and-answer session with reporters, the president boasted that the United States had done an "amazing" job at handling the COVID-19 pandemic, at which point Acosta interrupted him and tried to ask him about the 155,000 people who have died from the disease in just five months.
"The U.S. has so many deaths," Acosta said.
"Hold it!" Trump replied.
"So many countries around the world..."
"Fake news CNN," he said. "Hold it. We have done a great job in this country. We haven't been given enough -- not me, Vice President Pence, the task force -- have not been given the kind of credit."