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Christopher Rizek Talks to ABC News on Mnuchin's Involvement with Trump's Tax Returns

April 11, 2019, ABC News

Some tax experts say Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may be overstepping his authority by getting involved in the administration's response to a congressional request for the president’s tax return information that they say should be decided by the IRS commissioner.

. . .

Christopher Rizek, a former Treasury Department lawyer who currently practices at Caplin & Drysdale, said Mnuchin’s letter struck him as disingenuous, noting that Congress lays out in the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 that the IRS commissioner, and not the Treasury Secretary, has authority in these matters.

"Evidently the secretary hasn’t read the code he was citing, because the code delegates all these authorities to the IRS," Rizek said.

 . . .

But Rizek and Rosenthal said they see no constitutional issue with Neal’s request, which he made under the authority granted to him under law as the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.

"As a taxpayer, the president is no different than any other taxpayer. I don’t think there’s any constitutional concerns there at all. So there’s no constitutional implications there so that’s overblown there," Rizek said.

. . .

Rizek says, as a legal matter, whether Neal has political motivations is not of consequence because his stated oversight pursuits are sound.

"As a general proposition, politicians’ statements are not part of the official record," Rizek said. "The question is not whether it’s political but whether those are legitimate stated purposes and those purposes are pretty darn good. This committee has jurisdiction over whether the IRS is doing an adequate job."

To view the full article, please visit ABC News' website.

Excerpt taken from the article “Mnuchin Overplaying Hand With Role in Fight Over Trump's Tax Returns: Tax Experts” by Jordyn Phelps for ABC News.


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