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

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellHouse Democrat presses Pentagon after Trump downplays severity of US troop injuries in Iran attack House approves Trump's USMCA trade deal amid shadow of impeachment A solemn impeachment day on Capitol Hill MORE (D-N.J.) argued Monday that if President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE's tax returns are not turned over to Congress following a subpoena, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDeficits to average record .3 trillion over next decade: CBO UK to allow Huawei in parts of its 5G network in blow to US The Hill's Morning Report - Report of Bolton tell-all manuscript roils Trump defense 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 NealHouse Democrats push back on Trump's efforts to take credit for the economy Key House committee chairman to meet with Mnuchin on infrastructure next week Coalition of conservative groups to air ads against bipartisan proposal to end 'surprise' medical bills 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.