Committee chair Maxine Waters was out for blood in a House Financial Services meeting today, where she and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sparred over President Trump’s tax returns and how long he should have to sit there and testify.
Waters’ first question was about the release of Trump’s tax returns, which the House formally requested last week.
“I want to acknowledge we have received the request,” Mnuchin said, promising nothing. “As I said before, we will follow the law. We are reviewing it with our internal legal department and I would leave it at that.”
The deadline to release Trump’s tax returns is tonight at midnight. If they aren’t released, the House Ways and Means Committee will send a second letter requesting them. But the House isn’t ready to issue a subpoena.
“We will not be moving to subpoena the IRS tomorrow,” a senior Democratic aide to the Ways and Means Committee told ABC News. “The next step would be a second letter.”
Waters asked Mnuchin if he’s afraid of being fired if he releases the returns.
“I’m not afraid of being fired at all,” Mnuchin answered, like someone who is not at all afraid of getting fired.
That about wrapped up Mnuchin’s testimony. He apparently had an “important meeting” with a foreign leader he had to get to, and complained at length that the hearing was holding him up, rather than, you know, letting it proceed so he could leave.
Mnuchin had apparently only informed the committee the day before the hearing that he would have to leave at 5:30 p.m. Waters was not pleased.
Waters told Mnuchin “no other secretary has ever told us the day before that they were going to limit their time.”
The pair then squabbled over whether Mnuchin should cancel his meeting.
“You’re ordering me to stay here,” Mnuchin complained. “That’s not what I want to do.”
“No, I am not ordering you, I’m responding [to what you said],” Waters replied.
“I’ve just been advised that I’m under no obligation to stay,” Mnuchin said, after conferring with an aide. “I’ve withdrawn my offer to voluntarily come back.”
“You may choose to do whatever you want,” Waters said.
When he hasn’t been throwing tantrums in Congress, Mnuchin has spent the last week defending his decision to sell a stake in a production company he was told to divest from to his own wife. Mnuchin now says he’ll distance himself from the company.