Attorney General William Barr offered a novel legal theory as a rationalization for why the administration is refusing to obey the law in turning over Trump’s tax returns.
The Department of Just Office of Legal Counsel unveiled a new legal opinion to defend their position in a Friday afternoon news dump.
A nearly 100-year-old law required the Internal Revenue Service to turn over Trump’s tax returns to Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), the chair of the House Ways and Means committee. But the Trump administration refused to comply, making up a requirement of “legitimate legislative purpose.”
“We advised that, although the text of section 6103(f) does not require the Committee to state any purpose for its request, Congress could not constitutionally confer upon itself the right to compel a disclosure by the Executive Branch of confidential information that does not serve a legitimate legislative purpose,” the opinion argued.
The Justice Department released a memo to justify why Steve Mnuchin will not turn over Trump's tax returns, as required by law. Every president since Nixon has released their tax returns, yet Trump claims he's "the most transparent president in history." https://t.co/QCASBZf2lZ pic.twitter.com/nWmVqJTGQz
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 14, 2019