Dem calls for fines, jail time if Mnuchin refuses to release Trump's tax returns

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellFirst major 'Medicare for All' hearing sharpens attacks on both sides First major 'Medicare for All' hearing sharpens attacks on both sides Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump MORE (D-N.J.) argued Monday that if President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE's tax returns are not turned over to Congress following a subpoena, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill Justice releases legal opinion backing Treasury's refusal to release Trump tax returns MORE and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig should face fines or jail time.

“I believe that the Justice Department should first fine the two persons that we’re talking about, Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Rettig," Pascrell said during an interview on MSNBC. “If they say no all the way, then I'd put them in jail all the way.”

Pascrell is a member of the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee, which last week subpoenaed six years of Trump’s tax returns from both Mnuchin and Rettig. The committee gave the officials until 5 p.m. Friday to hand over the returns.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOn The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill Justice releases legal opinion backing Treasury's refusal to release Trump tax returns Justice releases legal opinion backing Treasury's refusal to release Trump tax returns MORE (D-Mass.) argued last week that the subpoena "gives us the best opportunity to succeed and obtain the requested material." The panel is probing how the IRS audits and enforces tax laws against a president.

Pascrell, who noted on MSNBC that he was speaking for himself, said that if the returns are not turned over by the Friday deadline he would be willing to begin impeachment proceedings against the Trump administration officials.

"If they say no on Friday and if they ignore this ... then we do have a constitutional crisis," he said. "By Friday night I'd be willing to begin impeachment processes." 

Mnuchin has previously denied a House request for Trump's tax returns.

The Hill has reached out to the Treasury Department and the IRS for comment.