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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.

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“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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2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

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In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

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Mike Pence should be investigated for his part in Ukraine negotiations and ‘we need some answers’: Ex-prosecutor

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance agreed with host Joy Reid that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in the Ukraine whistleblower cover-up — and that Congress needs to act to learn the truth for the American people.

"Let me go to you on this very quickly, Joyce, because here's the question for Mike Pence," said Reid. "Mike Pence has been sort of severed from all of the other questions that are relating to potential impeachment for Donald Trump, that the House is wrestling with right now, but if Pence ... went in knowing why the aid was being held up, went in and spoke to the leader of Ukraine knowing what stick the administration had over them, and in that way was drawn in to this idea of using that stick to try to get what they wanted from Ukraine, does he then face the jeopardy of perhaps also being drawn into the questions of impeachment?"

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‘We’re not through’: After biggest climate protest in history draws 4 million worldwide, campaigners prepare for week of action

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"September 20th was a demonstration of intent, of 4 million people who took time off from work or school to say that they are ready to move on and make the changes we need."

As organizers behind Friday's Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world—making it the biggest climate protest ever—they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners' work is far from over.

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