IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told lawmakers that "we're working on" a response to a request from Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal.
Ron Wyden, Democrat of OR, on a request made by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, Democrat of MA, who set a deadline of Wednesday for the submission of Mr. Trump's returns.
Rettig added that he has not either been directly or indirectly asked not to comply with Neal's request to turn over the returns from inside the White House or elsewhere.
"It is our intent to follow the law and that is in the process of being reviewed, " Mnuchin told a House Appropriations subcommittee with responsibility for his budget. He said that members of Treasury's legal team had had consultations on the matter before the tax return request was made but that the Treasury officials had not sought any type of permission to release the returns.
"I believe that the communication between our legal department and the White House general counsel was informational", Mnuchin said. "We had obviously read in the press that we were expecting this".
Mnuchin said it would be "embarrassing" if he kept the foreign leader, whom he later identified as an official of Bahrain, waiting any longer. "They've already started to do that", Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat from New Jersey, told CNN.
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Mark W. Everson, who served as the IRS commissioner under President George W. Bush, said there is little dispute that Congress has the authority to receive Trump's tax returns.
During a tense exchange before the Financial Services Committee on Tuesday afternoon, Mnuchin wouldn't commit to what precisely the Treasury Department would do next. Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters didn't waste time, using her first question to ask Mnuchin if he would send the president's tax information by their Wednesday deadline.
Mnuchin, at the hearing on Tuesday, would not say how he planned to proceed. The IRS says there's no rule against subjects of an audit from publicly releasing their tax filings. "I have no obligation to do that while under audit".
The latest phase in the battle over Trump's tax returns comes as the Democrat-controlled House steps up oversight of the President and his administration.
Trump narrowly lost Minnesota in the 2016 presidential election. Consovoy writes. "Why is he not requesting information about the audits of previous presidents?"
Congress, in 1924, updated the tax code to give the chairmen of the House and Senate tax-writing committees the ability to obtain anyone's tax returns even if the request was opposed by the White House.
"That's really useful information for a committee that's just trying to get a sense of whether the President was paying tax at all", says Joshua Blank, professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law and an expert in tax privacy.