“In reliance on the advance of the Department of Justice, we have determined that the Committee’s request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose, and pursuant to section 6103, the Department is therefore not authorized to disclose the requested returns and return information,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wrote in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass, ahead of the 5 p.m. ET deadline to hand over the documents. “For the same reasons, we are unable to provide the requested information in response to the Committee’s subpoena.”

Neal responded Friday saying that the law provides “clear statutory authority” for him to request and received access to tax returns and return information.

“The law, by its terms, does not allow for discretion as to whether to comply with a request for tax returns and return information. Given the Treasury Secretary’s failure to comply today, I am consulting with counsel on how best to enforce the subpoenas moving forward,” he said.