Democrat hits Mnuchin for giving Hunter Biden docs to Republicans

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellDemocrats, GOP spar over Treasury rules on Trump tax law On The Money: Economy adds 225K jobs in January, topping expectations | Appeals court tosses Dems' lawsuit over emoluments | Democrats decide against bringing back earmarks Democrat hits Mnuchin for giving Hunter Biden docs to Republicans MORE (D-N.J.) is criticizing the Treasury Department for providing Republican senators with financial records as part of their probe concerning Hunter Biden.

Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, blasted the department for turning over the documents while at the same time refusing to provide House Democrats with President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE's tax returns.

"Continuing to violate the law to shield Donald Trump’s tax returns while simultaneously aiding a blatantly partisan investigation is an affront to public service," Pascrell wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinGOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law On The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law MORE.

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Pascrell's letter comes after a spokeswoman for Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate Dems blast Barr for 'clear violation' of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case Harris, Castro introduce resolution condemning Trump aide Stephen Miller MORE (D-Ore.) said Thursday that the Treasury Department is complying with a request for documents from two Senate GOP chairmen.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law Wyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe MORE (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Father of Parkland shooting victim calls on Congress to take action Senators to meet with Zelensky after impeachment trial MORE (R-Wis.) sent a letter to Treasury in November as part of an investigation into "potentially improper actions by the Obama administration" concerning Ukraine and Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE, worked.

The two senators sought any "suspicious activity reports" and related documents about Burisma, Hunter Biden and others from the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Financial institutions file suspicious activity reports with FinCEN about actions that might signal criminal activity in an effort to help the federal government detect and prevent money laundering.

A Treasury official did not comment specifically on the request from Grassley and Johnson but said the department responds to congressional requests for information, including information from FinCEN, from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Democrats argue that the Trump administration has stonewalled their requests for information.

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Last spring, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealWyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus White House warns of raising health costs in debate over surprise medical bills MORE (D-Mass.) sent requests and subpoenas to the Treasury Department and the IRS for six years of Trump's federal tax returns, saying his committee was conducting oversight and considering legislative proposals about how the IRS audits presidents.

Neal cited a section of the federal tax code that states that the Treasury secretary "shall furnish" tax returns requested by the chairs of Congress's tax committees.

The Trump administration rejected Neal's requests and subpoenas, arguing they lacked a "legitimate legislative purpose" and that Democrats' true objective in seeking the tax returns was to make public the tax information of a political rival. The dispute has yet to be resolved in the courts.

Pascrell said in Thursday's letter that Mnuchin's participation in the Senate GOP probe "is unacceptable, but made far worse when compared beside your adamant refusal to obey the law ... by providing Donald Trump’s tax returns to the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee pursuant to his request of April 3, 2019."

The New Jersey Democrat called on Mnuchin to end his "stonewalling and give the Ways and Means Committee its requested information." He also asked Mnuchin to provide information about any Biden financial records that the Treasury Department has given to the Senate and what legitimate legislative purpose is fulfilled by complying with the GOP request.

A source familiar with the two congressional requests said there are a number of differences between them, including that Republicans aren't seeking information on tax returns.