The Treasury Department committed a grievous sin this week by handing over the financial records of Hunter Biden to the Senate Finance Committee even though it continues to refuse to hand over President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Last year, the House Ways and Means Committee cited federal law authorizing Congress to request the tax returns and financial records of any citizen when it subpoenaed six years of Trump’s tax records from the IRS, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Treasury headed by Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Mnuchin and the IRS have refused to hand over the records, flouting the law in the process, resulting in the House Ways and Means Committee taking the matter to court.
The law is not on Trump’s side in this matter. A 1924 federal tax law clearly states that Congress has the power to request anyone’s tax returns.
But while Mnuchin continues to hide Trump’s tax returns, he willingly handed over Hunter Biden’s financial records to the Senate Finance Committee after Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) cited a mere Senate rule in a request letter sent in November 2019.
Biden is the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, but he’s also a private citizen. And the Treasury handing over his records flies in the face of Republican claims that handing over Trump’s taxes would be a slippery slope to Congress looking at the financial records of any private citizen.
“The legal implications of this request could affect protections for all Americans against politically-motivated disclosures of personal tax information, regardless of which party is in power,” Mnuchin said in an April 2019 letter denying the request for Trump’s records.
Clearly, that excuse no longer holds water.
Through a spokesperson, ranking Senate Finance Committee Democrat Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) expressed outrage.
“The administration told House Democrats to go pound sand when their oversight authority was mandatory while voluntarily cooperating with the Senate Republicans’ sideshow at lightning speed,” Wyden spokesperson Ashley Schapitl said.
Treasury is obviously engaged in Trump’s witch hunt against the Biden family all while it protects Trump. It’s an outrage and a serious breach of privacy. Hunter Biden is a private citizen, unlike Trump, who has been a public official for three years. Congress has the right and the legal standing to access his financial records. The Senate has no such standing to look at Hunter Biden’s. Any Republican Senators who thought Trump would not abuse his power again now have egg on their faces.
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