Another day, another supposed bombshell that turns out to be about as underwhelming as Kamala Harris’ Presidential campaign.
The latest news to get the media all hot and bothered is the revelation of a year old draft memo that supposedly undercuts the case for Mnuchin to continue withholding Trump’s taxes from Congress. The claim is that because of this memo’s existence, even his own department can’t justify their actions. There’s a problem though and we’ll get to that.
The Washington Examiner has the report.
A confidential Internal Revenue Service legal memo reportedly crafted last fall says the president must turn over tax returns to Congress unless executive privilege is exerted.
The content of the 10-page memo, which was reported Tuesday by the Washington Post, directly contradicts Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s assertion that President Trump does not have to turn over his tax returns because there isn’t a “legitimate legislative purpose” for releasing them to Congress.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 22, 2019
Confidential draft IRS memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless president invokes executive privilege https://t.co/T0HZO80V27
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 22, 2019
Sounds really earth shattering doesn’t it? This had CNN and MSNBC whipped into a frenzy last night as well.
The problem? It’s completely meaningless.
One assumes they know what the word “draft” means https://t.co/sTvHzdPWT9
— streiff (@streiffredstate) May 22, 2019
Here’s the rest of the Examiner’s description of the document.
The document, titled, “Congressional Access to Returns and Return Information,” which was reportedly written by a lawyer in the Office of Chief Counsel, does not appear to be binding and is not the official position of the IRS. The memo is unsigned and is stamped with the word “DRAFT.”
So some random lawyer drew up a draft memo, clearly marked as a draft, didn’t even sign it, and then leaked it to The Washington Post, who then spread it far and wide as some kind of major story. In reality, there’s absolutely nothing here. Anyone can draft a memo and as it sits, this specific memo not only holds no legal relevancy, it doesn’t even hold relevancy to its own department. Neither Mnuchin, nor the Chief Counsel’s office ever agreed that what’s in that memo is binding in any way nor did they ever endorse it’s assertions.
But the media is gonna do what they do. Every single day there must be some new “scandal” to invent out of thin air. Twelve hours later, the original framing falls apart and then they scramble find another new bombshell to push. Rinse and repeat. There’s a reason most of the country have tuned them out at this point.