The US Supreme Court has approved the release of ex-President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a Democratic-controlled legislative committee.
In October, the Supreme Court denied Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn a lower court order that allowed the panel’s request for his financial documents. The ruling is a setback for Mr. Trump, who has kept his tax returns hidden for years.
After announcing his first presidential bid, Mr. Trump became the first president in 40 years to refuse to reveal his tax returns. Since 2019, the House Ways and Means Committee has been requesting access to his records. Mr. Trump, who launched his third presidential campaign last week, is the subject of many investigations into his business operations. He claims he did nothing wrong.
The Supreme Court’s brief statement on Tuesday did not include any dissenting votes.
The judgment means that the US Treasury Department will be able to disclose tax returns for Mr. Trump and certain of his businesses from 2015 to the Democratic-controlled committee. It comes just as Republicans prepare to take control of the House following this month’s midterm elections.
Donald Trump almost managed to outrun a legislative request to see his tax returns.
Almost. With just over a month until Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court has given the Treasury Department permission to send the documents to the Ways and Means Committee.
Given that the Biden administration runs the Treasury Department, the process of handing over the records should move quickly. Democrats will have little time to study them before Republicans take office on January 3rd.
And, with so little time left before Congress adjourns, coming up with any proposed modifications to federal law surrounding presidential tax returns – the declared goal of the congressional request – appears a futile exercise.
However, a few weeks may be ample time to find proof of Mr. Trump’s odd or perhaps unlawful accounting and for that information to leak to the public. Many people believe that this was the true reason behind the request.
Mr. Trump has suffered two more defeats this year at the hands of the conservative-dominated Supreme Court, three of whom he appointed.
In October, the court declined to intervene in the legal battle over the FBI’s search of Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. In August, agents served a search warrant at the former president’s estate on suspicion that he inappropriately handled secret materials.
In January, the court refused to intervene to prevent the National Archives from turning over papers to the committee investigating the Trump supporters’ violence at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Mr. Trump has dismissed the Ways and Means Committee’s investigation into his taxes as politically motivated.
Congressman Richard Neal, head of the committee, said in a statement that legislators “will now undertake the oversight that we’ve wanted for the last three and a half years.” He did not clarify whether the committee intends to make Mr. Trump’s tax returns public.
Last year, a Trump-appointed judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the House had a genuine need to review the applications.
The committee contended that it needed to see Mr. Trump’s papers to evaluate if tax officials were properly auditing presidential candidates and whether new legislation was required.
They contended before the lower court that Mr. Trump’s denial prevented Congress from performing oversight of the executive and judicial branches.