An interesting editorial by a Pulitzer winning journalist David Cay Johnston says there’s a U.S. law currently on the books that exposes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin , the IRS Commissioner and others to as many as 5 years in prison for failing to release Trump’s tax returns to the various congressional committees requesting them.
The editorial cites 26 U.S. Code § 7214 titled “Offenses by officers and employees of the United States”. Section 7214(a), of this statute says “Any officer or employee of the United States acting in connection with any revenue law of the United States… who with intent to defeat the application of any provision of this title fails to perform any of the duties of his office or employment… shall be dismissed from office or discharged from employment and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years or both.” –see 7214(a)(3)
An even more interesting revelation is that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and others could still be in legal jeopardy even if they finally decide to furnish Trump’s tax returns to the various congressional committees. This is because a subsection of the same law–7214(a)(4)–makes it criminal for tax officials to conspire or collude to hide tax returns from Congress. Mnuchin is on record as saying his office has been in contact with the White House over Trump’s tax returns. If it can be shown that Mnuchin, the IRS Commissioner or their subordinates conspired with White House officials (including President Trump) to hide the tax returns from Congress, they are in violation of the clear text of 7214 (a)(4).
Bottom line , this is a very important revelation that deserves a lot of mainstream media attention. House Democrats also need to pursue this new avenue brought to light by this Pulitzer winning journalist. Simply put, no stone should be left unturned in the quest for Trump’s tax returns.
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