“Nor should they,” Mulvnaney told “Fox News Sunday.”
Trump is the first president in more than 40 years to refuse to release the tax documents to the public and Democratic lawmakers hope to change that.
On Wednesday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) formally asked the Internal Revenue Service for six years of Trump’s personal and business tax information.
In his letter to the Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS, Neal cited a 1924 law that states the treasury secretary “shall furnish ... any return or return information specified” in a request from the head of the House or Senate tax-writing committees.
But Mulvaney said Sunday that he doesn’t believe the IRS will comply with Neal’s request.
″That is not going to happen and [Democrats] know it,” Mulvaney said. “They know the terms under law by which the IRS can give them the documents, but political hit job is not one of those reasons.”
Roughly 64% of Americans believe Trump has a responsibility to publicly release his tax returns, according to a Pew Research Poll conducted in January. Nonetheless, Mulvaney suggested most Americans don’t care about seeing the president’s returns.
“That’s an issue that was already litigated during the (2016) election,” Mulvaney said. “Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns. They knew that he didn’t and they elected him anyway, which of course is what drives the Democrats crazy.”
In resisting the persistent calls for his returns, Trump has argued he couldn’t release them because they are under audit by the IRS. Mulvaney’s Sunday comment that “the president could have given his tax returns” appeared to undermine Trump’s claim.
The president’s legal team has been fighting back against the Democrats’ request to the IRS. Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, accused Democrats of attempting to use the agency as “a political weapon” during an interview Sunday with ABC’s “This Week.”
“It’s not the law for the United States,” Sekulow said of whether presidential candidates should release their tax returns. “We don’t have a requirement that presidents do that. This president decided not to because he has an ongoing IRS audit.”
Several Republicans have expressed interest in seeing Trump’s tax returns, including Sens. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Mitt Romney of Utah.
“I’d like the president to follow through and show his tax returns,” Romney told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. He added that he doesn’t believe the Democrats will succeed in obtaining them, though.
“Going after his tax returns through a legislative action is moronic,” Romney said. “That’s not going to happen.”