Donald Trump tax returns: Former president asks Supreme Court to block House committee from accessing tax returns

Washington – Former President Donald Trump is fighting to protect several years of his House Democrats personal tax returns to the Supreme Court, filing an urgent application on Monday with the High Court in an attempt to stop the ongoing disclosure.

“This case raises important questions about the separation of powers that will affect every future president,” Trump’s legal team wrote. “The Committee’s purpose in requesting President Trump’s tax returns has nothing to do with funding or personnel issues at the IRS and everything to do with releasing the President’s tax information to the public.”

Last week, the full federal appeals court in Washington, DC denied a request by the former president to reconsider the decision of a three-judge appeals panel against him.

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled – apparently without any dissenting votes – that Trump’s case against the House Ways and Means Committee should not be reconsidered in bench, and that the decision to allow disclosure of his tax records to the committee should not be put on hold pending further litigation.

Former President Trump Holds Rally in Robstown, Texas
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a ‘Save America’ rally on October 22, 2022 in Robstown, Texas.

BRANDON BELL/Getty Images


Earlier this year, the three-judge DC Court of Appeals panel ruled unanimously the committee was entitled to obtain several years of Trump’s tax returns, rejecting the former president’s claims that the committee’s multiple requests for the records were both unconstitutional and lacked a valid legislative purpose .

“While Congress may attempt to threaten the incumbent president with an invasive demand after he leaves office, every president takes office knowing that he will be subject to the same laws as all other citizens upon leaving office. his duties,” the judges wrote in August. , “It’s a feature of our democratic republic, not a bug.”

In his Supreme Court filing on Monday, Trump argued that the issues in dispute were still unresolved and needed to be heard by the High Court. “No Congress has ever exercised its legislative powers to compel a president’s tax returns,” his lawyers wrote. moving forward, binding in the circuit in which most disputes over Congressional information requests are to be litigated.”

The litigation began after the committee’s chairman, Rep. Richard Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts, requested that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) turn over five years of Trump’s tax records in 2019. The Treasury Department, at the era under Trump’s control, refused to comply with the request despite a process by which Congress can request certain people’s tax records from the IRS.

A lawsuit by Neal and the ways and means committee followed, as did a transition to presidential power and a new request for tax documents in 2021.

Last year, a federal judge dismissed Trump’s court case against the committee, the first in a series of legal losses for the former president as he fought to protect his tax records from Congress.

“A long line of Supreme Court cases warrants great deference to seemingly valid congressional inquiries,” Justice Trevor McFadden — a Trump appointee — wrote in 2021. “Even the special solicitude given to former presidents does not alter not the result. The Court will therefore dismiss this case.”

Trump on Monday asked the court to suspend the transfer of his financial records from the IRS to the committee pending further legal review.

The legal fight with the Ways and Means Committee is not the former president’s first attempt to shield his financial records from congressional scrutiny. In 2019, the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, over several years of financial documents. A long legal battle ensuedending with a settlement reached between Trump and the Committee earlier this year. Mazars began handing over the documents in September, according to The New York Times.

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.

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