"Have you received any instruction or guidance of any kind about how to handle congressional requests for President Trump's tax returns. And if so from whom?
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury:
"I have, I have because I've read this in the press. First of all I haven't received the request. If you have the request for me today I'm happy to accept it. If not, when if you decide in the future to deliver this we will receive it. I can't speculate on the request until I see it. I have discussed with the legal department in the Treasury that we will most likely receive this request and as I've said based upon the request, we'll examine it and we will follow the law. I would expect that we would. I'm not aware of there's ever been a request for an elected official's tax return but we will follow the law and we will protect the president as we would protect any individual taxpayer under their rights."
"Are you seeking advice on the meaning of the word shall?"
++WHITE FLASH SEPARATES SOUNDBITES++
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Bill Pascrell, (D) New Jersey:
"Mr Trump claimed he would. President Trump. He would not personally benefit from the tax cuts in the tax bill of December of 2017. How can we know without seeing his tax returns. Can you tell me that?
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury:
"Well I'm not aware of the president's financial situation other than what what I read."
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Bill Pascrell, (D) New Jersey:
"Apparently nobody is."
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury:
"But I would just I would just comment that I assume that that comment is that he has properties in New York and other places that are impacted by the sole deduction."
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Bill Pascrell, (D) New Jersey:
"Well it's happening and it's coming. So be prepared."
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Thursday he will protect President Donald Trump's privacy if he receives a request from House Democrats for Trump's tax returns.
At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Mnuchin was asked whether he would meet a request for Trump's past tax returns.
Chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., is expected to formally ask for those as Democrats seek to shed light on Trump's financial dealings and potential conflicts of interest.
"We will examine the request and we will follow the law ... and we will protect the president as we would protect any taxpayer" regarding their right to privacy, Mnuchin said.
Neal is one of only three congressional officials authorized under a rarely used 1924 law to make a written request for anyone's tax returns to the Treasury secretary.
The law says the Treasury chief "shall furnish" the requested material to members of the committee for them to examine behind closed doors.
But Mnuchin did not specifically say he would turn them over.
The unprecedented move likely would set off a huge legal battle between Trump's administration and Democrats controlling the House. The fight could take years to resolve, possibly stretching beyond the 2020 presidential election.
Neal could move in coming weeks to ask for the documents. "It's happening and it's coming, so be prepared," Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., told Mnuchin at the hearing.
Democrats say that seeking Trump's tax documents falls within their mandate of congressional oversight; Republicans accuse the Democrats of using powers in the tax law to mount a political witch hunt.
Republican lawmakers have invoked privacy concerns and the confidentiality of all tax documents, suggesting that the Democrats would leak Trump's returns so they would become public.
Legislature , Government and politics , National taxes , Government taxation and revenue , Government finance , Government business and finance , Business , Government business and finance , National taxes , National governments , United States presidential election , Presidential elections , National elections , Elections , Personal taxes , Personal finance
Donald Trump , Richard Neal , Bill Pascrell , Steven Mnuchin , Lloyd Doggett