Mnuchin attempted to argue he wasn’t asking for $450+ billion, but Rep. Porter wanted to know one thing: Is it the year 2026? It’s a simple question, but an important one legally. The CARES Act, a law written and passed by the Legislative branch and signed into law by the Executive branch, stipulates that whatever funds are left over from the coronavirus pandemic are not allowed to be moved back to the Treasury until “on or after Jan. 1, 2026.” Now, you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that the year 2026 is not 2020, or even 2021. And after pouting a bit, Mnuchin moped that he knew it wasn’t 2026, complaining that it was “ridiculous to ask me that question and waste our time.”
Rep. Porter explained to Mr. Mnuchin that she was only wasting his time because he was insisting on “play-acting to be a lawyer.” Hehe. That stung The Lego Movie producer, and he interrupted Porter to say that he had “plenty of lawyers” at the Treasury. Okey dokey! Get nice and comfortable, maybe pour yourself a drink (if you like to have a nice drink), and put on some cozy slippers, because that is when this exchange took place.
REP. KATIE PORTER: Secretary Mnuchin. Are you in fact a lawyer?
TREASURY SEC. STEVEN MNUCHIN: Ah, I do not have a legal degree. I have lawyers that report to me.
After asking Fed Chair Powell if he was a lawyer—Powell was indeed a former lawyer—she turned back to Mnuchin to explain how he was arguing law with a lawyer. Ready for Mnuchin to expose his tiny brain and big ego—all at the same time?
SEC. MNUCHIN: Are you a lawyer?
In fact, Rep. Katie Porter is a professor of law (on leave) from the University of California, Irvine. She graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, which means she is totally a lawyer. Steven Mnuchin is barely like a Treasury secretary, let alone a lawyer. These guys can’t leave the White House soon enough.
Porter begins around the 1:15:00 mark. Enjoy.