Sen. Orrin Hatch had to remind Democrats they were being enormously hypocritical when attacking Secretary of the Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin.
Various senators on the Senate Committee on Finance, including Sen. Robert Menendez, pressed Mnuchin on offshore Cayman Island accounts.
“One does not go and create offshore entities at the end of the day other than to avoid, in some form or fashion, the tax laws of the United States. That’s pretty simple,” Menendez said. “What you did may have been legal, but it certainly was to help people and entities avoid taxes.”
After a contentious sparring match, Hatch jogged his colleagues’ memories about President Barack Obama’s past nominees.
“It’s ironic and I think a bit hypocritical of my friends on the other side of the aisle to suddenly find religion on offshore account holdings,” Hatch said. “Evidently memories are short. At least two of President Obama’s nominees that now serve in his cabinet had Cayman Island holdings. Now that includes the current treasury secretary, who also ran a business unit at Citigroup, a bailed out mega bank from which he received close to a million dollars in bonuses. That unit has been sanctioned by the SEC [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] for selling toxic assets that ‘harmed investors.'”
Jack Lew has been Obama’s secretary of the treasury since 2013.
“With regard to the nominee’s disclosure to the committee, I want to say this: as part of the committee’s bipartisan vetting process, Mr. Mnuchin in good faith submitted answers to committee questionnaires and other materials that were later modified,” Hatch continued. “Mr. Mnuchin’s file is now complete. And to meet the demands of some of my Democratic colleagues, the disclosures now include financial information that’s usually kept confidential, such as the value of personal residences. The committee appreciates Mr. Mnuchin’s efforts to work through the complicated request for information on what is, by any reasonable measure, an exhaustive vetting process.”
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