The US Supreme Court on Tuesday authorized the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns to a House committee, handing defeat to the former Republican president, who described the Democrat-led panel’s request as politically motivated. Judges denied Trump’s Oct. 31 summary motion to block a lower court’s decision upholding the Ways and Means Committee’s request for his tax records as a legitimate part of the panel’s legislative work. No judiciary publicly contradicted the decision.
The committee, which has spent six years searching for Trump’s tax records from 2015 to 2020, will have little time to complete its work on the tax returns before a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. Republicans secured a narrow majority after the Nov. 8 midterm elections and will take control of the House of Representatives — and the committee — in January. The dispute over his tax returns is one of many legal issues for Trump as he moves forward with another run for the presidency in 2024. Last week Trump announced the start of his candidacy.
Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal said the Supreme Court lawsuit supports the principle of congressional oversight. “This is above policy and the committee will now provide the oversight that we have sought for the past three and a half years,” Neal said in a statement.
A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump became the first president in four decades not to release his tax returns as he sought to keep details of his wealth and the activities of his real estate firm, the Trump Organization, private.
The Ways and Means panel told the Supreme Court in a complaint that siding with Trump would undermine the constitutional authority of equal government powers “by effectively preventing Congress from completing an investigation involving a former president if… the investigation was allegedly politically motivated.” The panel, citing its motion for a federal law authorizing its chairperson to request any person’s tax return from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). House Democrats have said they must see Trump’s tax returns to assess whether the IRS is properly reviewing the President’s tax returns and to assess whether new legislation is needed.
In its filing, the committee told judges that the IRS policy “does not address what to do with a president who, like former President Trump, owned hundreds of companies, had overly complex returns, employed aggressive tax avoidance strategies, and allegedly had ongoing.” Audits had.” Trump’s lawyers said the committee’s ultimate goal was to make his tax returns public and to uncover politically harmful information about Trump.
Trump-appointed US District Judge Trevor McFadden sided with Congress in December 2021, dismissing the challenge to the committee’s request, noting that the committee has sweeping powers over a former president’s tax returns. The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also ruled against Trump in August and declined a new hearing in October.
Tuesday’s order replaced a Nov. 1 order by Chief Justice John Roberts that had effectively paused the dispute and prevented the panel from receiving the Trump returns while the court considered how to proceed. Trump has growing legal concerns. US Attorney General Merrick Garland last week appointed a special counsel to oversee two investigations, including a criminal probe related to the FBI’s seizure of government documents from Trump’s Florida home.
His real estate company is in the middle of a criminal case in New York over allegations of tax fraud. A trial date for next year has been set in a civil lawsuit filed by the New York State Attorney General, which has accused Trump and three of his adult children of fraudulently overstating the company’s assets and its assets. Additionally, an investigation in Georgia is investigating whether he interfered with that state’s 2020 election result.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)