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Pelosi toys with arresting Mnuchin: ‘We do have a little jail down in the basement’

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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.

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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.

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Net-zero: climate-saving target or delay tactic?

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With Britain set to become the first major economy to commit in law to reaching a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, what is carbon neutrality, and how will nations reach it?

- Why net-zero? -

Nations are gathered this week in the German city of Bonn to discuss implementing the Paris climate deal -- a landmark accord that in 2015 committed countries to work to limit global temperature rises.

Paris aims to cap warming at two degrees celsius (3.6 Farenheit) and requires nations to submit individually defined plans to slash the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the mercury up.

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2020 Election

Exclusive: Democratic operative who tested Russian tactics in Alabama reveals that Trump continues to crush Democrats on Facebook — by a factor of 9 to 1

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This article was paid for entirely by reader donations to Raw Story Investigates and AlterNet 2020. Become a member and get rid of video ads, or click to make a one-time donation.

The ground shifted under Democrats during the 2016 election, but many refuse to acknowledge just how, or in what direction. Some are still content to lose close elections gracefully, even when the stakes for American democracy are the highest they have ever been. Others are so bent on proving that their electoral strategy is sound that they refuse to acknowledge Mark Zuckerberg has broken the traditional models of voter persuasion.

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Fox & Friends attacks Mueller’s credibility: ‘I don’t think he knows the details of the report’

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The hosts of "Fox & Friends" questioned Robert Mueller's credibility after Congress set a date for the former special counsel to testify about his findings.

Mueller will testify July 17 to lay out evidence of alleged crimes by President Donald Trump and his campaign associates, and Fox News broadcasters suggested questions that could undercut his impartiality.

"How did it make you feel when president of the United States said that you're compromised, or how did it make you feel when the president of the United States kept attacking the process?" said co-host Brian Kilmeade. "What did you think about the rumors he was going to fire you? I'm not sure he is going to answer that either."

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