Following a request from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Department of the Treasury Acting Inspector General Richard Delmar, a nonpartisan career civil servant, provided the results of an inquiry requested on September 30, 2019, by the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the process by which, based on advice from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, the Department of the Treasury rejected a request from the House Ways and Means Committee to furnish a copy of President Donald J. Trump’s tax returns.
In a cover letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, Delmar summarized the findings of the inquiry led by the Office of the Inspector General’s Office of Investigations and Office of Counsel.
“The core of our inquiry is that the Department processed the request properly, that it sought legal guidance from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), determined that it was bound by that office’s advice, and based on that advice determined not to provide the returns and tax information sought,” Delmar wrote.
“This should put to bed any question about the Treasury Department’s handling of this matter. From the beginning, Democrats have insisted that something must be awry if they didn’t immediately get their way. But that’s not how checks and balances work and it’s not how the process of congressional oversight works,” Grassley said. “It’s the role of Congress to ensure that the law is being faithfully executed. I’m glad to see that’s the case at the Department of the Treasury. I applaud Secretary Mnuchin for following the proper procedures, and the law, in denying the request for President Trump’s tax returns on the advice of the Office of Legal Counsel, which determined the request lacked a legitimate legislative purpose.”
“It’s clear that the only motivation for seeking the president’s tax returns is political. That’s an inappropriate use of 6103 authority and it’s an inappropriate use of congressional oversight powers. The Administration is correct to reject attempts by Democrats to politicize this process. Treasury personnel should be commended for avoiding outside pressures and doing their work by the book,” Grassley concluded.