Mnuchin Grilled Over Trump’s Tax Returns Double Standard

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on 2/12/2020

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on 2/12/2020, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was grilled by Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) about the apparent double standard stemming from his department’s decision to deny a request for President Trump’s tax returns from House Democrats while at the same time gladly handing over financial records related to Hunter Biden to Senate Republicans.

Sec Mnuchin’s explanation, a plausible one, was that the request for Trump’s tax returns was governed by a different provision from the one governing records request related to Hunter Biden. According to Sec Mnuchin, the records request related to Hunter Biden was a SARS (Suspicious Activity Reports) request which he said Treasury has already released for over 1,000 individuals following requests by both Republican and Democratic committee chairs.

Specifically, Sec Mnuchin said, “The House disclosure of tax returns is subject to protections of 26 U.S.C. 6103 which on the advise of counsel as we documented, we had significant concerns. That’s very different than I believe what you[Sen Wyden] are referring to–SARS requests, which on a bipartisan basis we have responded to thousands ofSARS requests to the committees from both Republicans and Democrats on an equal basis.”

The question for House Democrats going forward is whether they can pin Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to this SARS rationale and get Treasury to release suspicious activity reports related to the Trump family from the myriad banking institutions they have been involved with, especially Deutsche Bank. This might prove particularly interesting given the fact that Attorney General William Barr’s daughter Mary Daly currently works at Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FINCEN), which presumably handles suspicious activity reports from the various banking institutions. Was Mary Daly installed at FINCEN for a reason? Hmm

Bottom line folks, getting Trump’s tax returns remains a very high priority for the majority of the American public. However, there are other financial records related to Trump and his family that House Democrats could pry loose using Sec Mnuchin’s SARS rationale, especially records related to Trump’s dealings with Deutsche Bank. Hopefully House Democrats will seize on this great opportunity Sec Mnuchin has unwittingly presented them with.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

$1.5 Trillion Worth Of $100 Bills Are Unaccounted For

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin with his wife Louise Linton

A bombshell Yahoo News piece says a staggering $1.5 trillion worth of U.S. dollar bills, predominantly the $100 bills(C-notes) are unaccounted for. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was confronted with this question on Fox Business Network (FBN) where he gave the explanation that weak economies around the world are increasingly using the U.S. dollar, meaning the missing $100 bills are probably sitting in bank vaults around the world.

Specifically, Sec Mnuchin told FBN’s Lou Dobbs,“Literally, a lot of these $100 bills are sitting in bank vaults all over the world…..The dollar is the reserve currency of the world, and everybody wants to hold dollars…….And the reason why they want to hold dollars is because the U.S. is a safe place to have your money, to invest and to hold your assets…….There’s a lot of Benjamins all over the world.” ($100 bills are colloquially referred to as “Benjamins” because they bear the picture of founding father Benjamin Franklin)

Reasonable people will agree that Secretary Mnuchin’s explanation, that the $100 bills are probably sitting in bank vaults worldwide, is very plausible. The question he was never asked however, is why we are having this problem now? Weak economies around the world have been using U.S. currency way before the Trump administration. Were the $100 bills also unaccounted for prior to the Trump administration? Yours Truly, always ahead of the curve, raised this question on Twitter.

Bottom line folks, we have witnessed shocking levels of corruption in the 3 short years Trump has been President. Under any other normal U.S. administration, the explanation given by Sec Mnuchin would be sufficient. Given the fact that the Trump administration has exhibited shocking levels of corruption, most notably the disappearance of $40 million of inaugural funds, congressional Democrats and the mainstream media owe it to the public to press Secretary Mnuchin for more answers regarding the missing Benjamins.

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Mnuchin Faces Prison Time For Not Releasing Trump’s Tax Returns

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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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com