Trump tax returns: IRS hands over federal tax returns to House Democrat-led committee

Washington— The Treasury Department turned over to the House Ways and Means Committee several years of former President Trump’s tax returns after the Supreme Court last week refused to block their release.

A Treasury Department spokesperson confirmed to CBS News that the department “has complied with last week’s court ruling.”

Trump asked the Supreme Court late last month to intervene after a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Washington rejected the former president’s claims that the panel’s request of the lanes and pleas regarding his tax information was unconstitutional and served no valid legislative purpose.

But in an unsigned order just before Thanksgiving, the high court dismissed Trump’s request, with no dissent noted. The order paved the way for the committee to get the records weeks before Republicans take control of the house in January.

It is not yet clear whether the committee will release any documents to the public.

FILE PHOTO: Former US President Donald Trump announces he will run for president in 2024 at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach
FILE PHOTO: Former US President Donald Trump announces he will run for US President again in the 2024 US presidential election at an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, USA, November 15, 2022.

JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS


The dispute between Trump and the Ways and Means Committee arose out of an April 2019 request by President Richard Neal to the Internal Revenue Service for individual tax records of Trump and those of eight of his business entities for 2013 to 2018. Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, made the request under a federal law that allows the Ways and Means president to request certain people’s tax returns.

Neal is seeking feedback to determine whether Trump and his companies are complying with tax laws and to verify whether the former president’s IRS audit was conducted “fully and appropriately.”

At the time, the Treasury Department refused to comply, arguing that the request was not supported by a legitimate legislative purpose. House Democrats then sued the IRS and the department to force them to turn over the tax information.

After the change of presidential administrations and with the ongoing court battle, Neal renewed his five-year request for tax returns from Trump and his companies for 2015 through 2020. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has also issued an opinion concluding that the committee had cited “sufficient grounds” to request Trump’s tax information and that the Treasury Department should turn over the records, a reversal of a legal analysis conducted under the Trump administration. The Treasury said it intended to comply with Neal’s subsequent request and turn over the material to Congress.

trump again tried to block the release of his tax records, arguing that Democrats had no valid legislative purpose for requesting his returns and that the request violated the Constitution in part because it was politically motivated. But a federal district court sided with Democrats, finding Neal’s request advances Congress’s study of the presidential audit agenda. The DC Circuit’s three-judge panel upheld the lower court’s decision.

Senior U.S. Circuit Judge David Sentelle wrote in a 33-page ruling that the Democrats’ request “was made in the context of a matter on which legislation could be passed,” and he dismissed the claims of the former president that the Democrats’ request for his tax information was unconstitutional.

“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. duties,” Sentelle wrote. “It’s a feature of our democratic republic, not a bug.”

Trump asked the entire DC Circuit to reconsider the decision, but he refused to rehear the case.

The IRS was set to release the former president’s financial records to the Ways and Means Committee on Nov. 3, but Trump asked the Supreme Court to intervene and prevent the agency from handing over its declarations. Chief Justice Roberts issued a temporary stay blocking their release, but the Supreme Court order last week dissolved the stay.

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