Donald Trump

Trump requests the Supreme Court to stop House Democrats from receiving tax records

As a long-running legal battle enters its final stage, former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court Monday to stop a congressional committee from accessing his tax records.

Trump, unlike previous presidents, refused to make his tax returns public amid scrutiny over his business affairs. He turned to the justices when an appeals court in Washington declined to intervene. Trump made similar requests to the court, but they were rejected by them.

Trump’s lawyers claim that the committee’s stated purpose, which was to investigate how the Internal Revenue Service audits presidents, did not stand up under scrutiny.

The lawyers stated in a court filing that the committee’s intent to request President Trump’s tax returns had nothing to do with the IRS’s funding or staffing problems and everything to do with the release of the president’s tax information.

The U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit declined to review a ruling by three judges in August that stated the House Ways and Means Committee could obtain tax returns.

If the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene by Thursday, the appeals court’s decision to not reconsider its ruling will mean that the tax returns are made public.

Federal law requires tax returns to be kept secret, but there are exceptions. One allows the chairman of the committee permission to request them.

In April 2019, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the chairman of the committee asked for Trump’s returns as well as those of any related business entities. He stated that he requested the information to assist in the inquiry of the committee into whether the tax law governing presidents should change.

Trump had then taken control of the Treasury Department. They refused to comply with Neal’s request, claiming that he did not have a valid purpose. The committee sued.

The Treasury Department in 2021 stated that it would comply with the request following the election of President Joe Biden. However, Trump objected. Trump appealed to a federal judge who ruled Dec. 2021 that the request was legal.

Trump asserts, among other things that the request was invalid and that the statute is too broad. He also claims that the Biden decision not to reveal the materials was unconstitutional and violated Trump’s First Amendment rights.

Since the 2016 election, Democrats have demanded that Trump release his tax returns. Although no law requires presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, it has become a standard for Republicans and Democrats.

The Trump Organization, Trump’s closely held company, is currently being investigated in another case. It is accused of participating in a scheme over 15 years to pay top executives “off-the-books” to help them avoid taxes.

Trump is still facing legal challenges, including the House committee’s investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by his support. The subpoena was issued by the committee to Trump for his testimony.

Trump’s Supreme Court majority is conservative at 6-3, which includes three of the justices he appointed. However, Trump has struggled in recent emergency applications such as his attempt to stop White House documents from being given to the House Jan. 6 Committee and his attempt to avoid disclosure of his financial records to New York prosecutors. Trump’s Oct. 13 request for a special master to review classified documents seized from the Mar-a-Lago home was rejected by the court.

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