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Supreme Court Decision Donald Trump Must Give the House Committee His Tax Returns
Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected former president Donald Trump’s plea to quash an appeals court’s decision requiring him to provide the House Ways and Means Committee with his tax returns and other financial documents. Supreme Court Decision Donald Trump Must Give the House Committee His Tax Returns.
The ruling was left unjustified by the court. There was no disagreement or vote breakdown that was observed. Trump has now lost an appeal to the Supreme Court involving requests for his taxes four times. The action looks to be the conclusion of Trump’s protracted battle against congressional subpoenas for his tax records in the purported pursuit of oversight legislation.
In response to the high court’s judgment on Tuesday, a Treasury Department spokesperson issued a statement that read, “The Treasury Department will comply with the Court of Appeals’ decision.” The organization, which includes the Internal Revenue Service, declined to specify when it would give the Committee access to Trump’s private tax returns.
This is a definitive victory for the rule of law. ⁰⁰The highest court in our country upheld the @WaysMeansCmte’s position that access to these documents are well within Congress’ important oversight role.https://t.co/RKjizJCCG5
— Rep. Suzan DelBene (@RepDelBene) November 22, 2022
According to the Supreme Court’s own rules outlined in a judgment in the same continuing case from 2020, the Democratic-controlled committee has claimed that judges must give weight to the lawful legislative purpose supporting a request for information. They claimed that in this instance, the criteria were clearly met.
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the committee’s chairman, said in a statement in response on Tuesday, “We knew the strength of our case, we persisted, we followed the advice of counsel, and ultimately, our case has been affirmed by the highest court in the land.”
“The idea of oversight has been upheld ever since the Magna Carta, and this is still true today. The Committee will now carry out the scrutiny that we have requested for the past three and a half years because this transcends politics.”
After the GOP gained control of the majority of the House in the midterm elections, Neal will hand over the leadership of the committee to a Republican in January. The committee stated the papers are essential for writing “legislation on equitable tax administration, including legislation on the President’s tax compliance,” despite Trump’s claims that the subpoena is a politically driven fishing expedition.
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Trump’s tax returns and other financial documents were the subjects of a lower court order that was temporarily administratively stayed on November 1 by Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts formally removed that stay today.
Donald Trump’s tax returns cannot be obtained by a House committee due to a temporary Supreme Court order. In order to look into how often presidents’ and vice presidents’ tax returns are audited by the IRS, the committee had asked for Trump’s tax returns for the previous six years.
Trump claimed that the committee had requested his taxes under false pretenses in his plea to the Supreme Court. The petition stated that the Committee’s goal in asking for President Trump’s tax returns was to make that information available to the public, not to address any funding or personnel difficulties at the IRS.
In August, a federal appeals court issued a unanimous decision directing the House committee to receive the taxpayers’ tax returns. In 2019, the committee initially requested the returns. Manhattan prosecutors receive Trump’s tax returns.
The Trump campaign argued that the House panel’s request for the tax returns was only made for political reasons, but the committee is adamant that the records are important for evaluating how the Internal Revenue Service handles presidential audits.
The federal tax legislation at the center of the controversy, which Trump’s attorney claims are illegal, requires that the Treasury Department “must give” any tax information sought by the Ways and Means Committee. Since Trump announced his candidacy for president in 2015 and defied decades of tradition by withholding the documents, Democrats have been pressing to see the paperwork.
Trump is being pressured by criminal investigations into his personal business, his possession of official documents after leaving office, and efforts to prevent the certification of the results of the 2020 election, in addition to the demand for his personal tax returns. Ben Gittleson, Katherine Faulders, and Lauren Peller of ABC News contributed to this story.