House Democrats Just Wondering If Someone In Munch's Shop Messed With Trump's Tax Audit
Can you sue the Chosen One? Do you have to go to Israel to get personal jurisdiction over the King of the Jews? Does the Lord Herself have to deliver the subpoena, or will Alan Dershowitz accept service? Lucky for House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal he doesn't have to worry about any of that, since the Second Coming is the plaintiff suing the Committee to stop it from blasphemously accessing his sacred tax returns.
When last we left this batshittery, Chairman Neal was pointing out that the statute granting him the right to access any person's tax returns is unambiguously not discretionary, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was insisting that he'd looked into Neal's soul and determined that the committee had evil, non-legislative purpose, and thus he had the right to refuse to hand over Trump's returns. Neal countered that legislative oversight includes ensuring that the legally mandated audits of presidential and vice presidential tax returns are carried out impartially, and Mnuchin answered with a very serious Memorandum of Suck It, Trump Haters.
it was all so exhaustingly stupid.
Yesterday, Chairman Neal filed a Motion for Summary Judgment with literally 50 exhibits -- which is why we're not linking to it, and neither is anyone else -- saying that the committee had heard from a whistleblower alleging some fuckery afoot in Trump's audit. In an August 8 letter to Mnuchin, he said:
On July 29, 2019, the Committee received an unsolicited communication from a Federal employee setting forth credible allegations of "evidence of possible misconduct" — specifically potential "inappropriate efforts to influence "the mandatory audit program. This is a grave charge that appreciably heightens the Committee's concerns about the absence of appropriate safeguards as part of the mandatory audit program and whether statutory codification is such a programmer other remedial, legislative measures are warranted.
In plain English, he says he's got credible proof that someone in Trumpland has violated the law by interfering with Trump's audit, and because this is directly within the Committee's oversight wheelhouse, he'd like the court to grant summary judgment that Ways and Means is acting within its legislative mandate and thus it is hand-'em-over-thirty, assholes. Mnuchin responded on August 13, saying that Treasury had no documents related to any interference, but he'd get the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration right on it, you betcha. No word on whether Mnuchin was using his middle finger to scratch his Botoxed brow in the filing, so we'll just assume YES.
Today the court issued a Minute Order refusing to address the Motion for Summary Judgment until it rules on the committee's Motion to Expedite Consideration of the Case. Trump's lawyers argue that the committee can hardly claim they need the case decided right now 'mergency when they waited six months to file a complaint, and they may have a point. (We told you guys to quit fartin' around and file already!) Although the yammering about "serious separation-of-powers issues, and questions of constitutional right" can be taken with a giant grain of salt, since the president's minions have now appointed themselves rabbinical scholars on Congress What Even Is Its Job?
TL, DR? These gubmint assholes are stalling for all they're worth. But if there really is a whistleblower to prove that Trump interfered in his own audit, shit's gonna get wild FAST.
And with that said, we're cuttin' out early and leaving you by yourself to cry a lot. Do that in your OPEN THREAD! Remember, Spokane people -- Spokanians? Spokanese? -- Wonkette gatherin' tonight!
Follow Liz (AKA your FDF) on Twitter!
Please click here to fund your Wonkette, who loves you and wants to keep writing these lawsplainers forever. MONEY US!
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.