Wyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation Wisconsinites put lives on the line after SCOTUS decision Officials sound alarm over virus relief check scams MORE (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, grew testy with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPhase-four virus relief hits a wall On The Money: Senate aims to quickly approve more small-business aid | Dems seek conditions on new funds for small-business loans | Pelosi says next round of relief will top T House GOP leaders back effort to boost small-business loans MORE on Wednesday during an exchange over the department's response to information requests.

Wyden criticized Mnuchin for refusing to comply with a request from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealPressure mounts on Congress for quick action with next coronavirus bill Democrats urge administration to automatically issue coronavirus checks to more people One year in, Democrats frustrated by fight for Trump tax returns MORE (D-Mass.) for President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE's tax returns, even as Treasury complies with requests for financial records from Senate GOP chairmen. Wyden said the move "looks political."

Wyden did not mention specifics of the GOP probe but appeared to be referring to the investigation from Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyPresident tightens grip on federal watchdogs Officials sound alarm over virus relief check scams Trump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic MORE (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonRemembering Tom Coburn's quiet persistence Coronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner GOP seeks up to 0 billion to maximize financial help to airlines, other impacted industries MORE (R-Wis.) are conducting about Hunter Biden, Burisma Holdings and Ukraine.


In that investigation, Grassley and Johnson have sought suspicious activity reports (SARs) from Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. SARs are reports that financial institutions file about actions that might suggest criminal activity in an effort to help detect and prevent money laundering.

“It looks to me like there’s a double standard here,” Wyden said.

Mnuchin said that he hasn't provided Neal with Trump's tax returns because Treasury has "significant concerns" about the request on the advice of counsel. He said the tax return request is "very different" from requests for SARs.

“On a bipartisan basis, we have responded to thousands of SARs requests to the committees from both Republicans and Democrats,” Mnuchin said.

Wyden appeared to be unsatisfied with Mnuchin's answer, interjecting and saying, "Mr. Secretary, you are stonewalling about stonewalling."


"That's really not fair at all," Mnuchin replied.

"Two committee chairs, one gets no response, with legal authority, that's the Democrat, the Republican gets a quick response," Wyden said.

Mnuchin said that Treasury has responded to requests from Wyden and others for "thousands of SARs."

Grassley said that his investigation with Johnson "has nothing to do with" tax returns and is proceeding methodically.