On April 3, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) formally requested Trump's tax returns, citing a provision in the tax code that empowers the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee to request a president's tax returns.
Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat who is one of the main sponsors, said Republicans were "misinformed" about the issue, pointing out that current federal law already allows congressional committees to request a person's tax returns from the IRS.
The Treasury secretary said that the Justice Department would memorialize its advice on the matter in a published legal opinion.
The request for Mr. Trump's taxes is the latest instance of the Trump administration rebuffing congressional oversight efforts.
White House officials didn't respond to a request for comment.
He added that "the department may not lawfully fulfill the committee's request".
"What has happened this week in Washington makes it all more important that the state of NY steps into the constitutional void and provides Congress with what it's entitled to know, in this case the tax return of the president", said Sen.
Trump refused to release his tax returns in the 2016 presidential campaign in a break with decades of precedent.
"Ways and Means has no legitimate committee goal for requesting the president's tax returns or return information", Consovoy wrote.
But Mnuchin denied in the letter that that constituted a legitimate goal, writing only that "we renew our previous offer to provide information concerning the Committee's stated interest in how the IRS conducts mandatory examinations of Presidents, as provided by the Internal Revenue Manual".
The statute says that the secretary of the Treasury "shall furnish" it.
The Treasury Department did not return a request for comment about the NY legislation. "Please know that if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request". Senate Democrats grilled the attorney general about his summary of the report and his remarks about what the investigation revealed.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday in early April that the topic of Trump's tax returns has drawn partisan anger from the Democrats, in response to a question about if the party will succeed in obtaining the sitting president's finances.
"Whether it is refusing to sit down in an interview with Mueller or whether it is constantly obstructing justice by trying to stop testimonies and stop people from cooperating, whether it is filing a lawsuit, he obviously has something to hide", House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters said last week. "We're not going anywhere", he said.