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Monday, November 28, 2022

Court allows Congress to give Trump’s statement

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The US Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to be turned over to a congressional committee after a three-year legal battle.

The Supreme Court, without mentioning any dissent, denied Trump’s request to issue an order preventing the Treasury Department from turning over six years of tax returns from Trump and some of his businesses to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Contrary to the tradition adopted by recent presidents, Trump refused to disclose his tax returns during his 2016 presidential campaign and during his four years in the White House, arguing that they were filed by an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) IRS) were the subject of the audit. Last week, Trump announced that he would run for president again in 2024.

Tuesday is Trump’s second Supreme Court blow in two months and third this year. In October, the court declined to intervene in a legal dispute over an FBI raid on the former president’s Florida property, where classified documents were found.

In January, the Supreme Court refused to block the National Archives from handing over documents to the House committee probing the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. The lone dissenter in that case was Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

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In a dispute over tax returns, the Treasury Department refused to hand over the files during Trump’s presidency. But the current Joe Biden administration has said that the law is clear that the commission has the right to examine the returns of any taxpayer, including the President.

Lower courts had agreed that the commission had authority to obtain tax returns and rejected Trump’s claims that it had exceeded its authority and that the release of the documents was a ploy.

Chief Justice John Roberts ordered a temporary stay on the case on November 1 to give the court time to consider legal issues raised by Trump’s lawyers and arguments from the federal government and the House of Representatives.

But about three weeks later, the court vacated Roberts’ order, not entering a dissent.

The Trump campaign has not responded to a request for comment on Tuesday’s ruling.

The House argued that an order to prevent the IRS from turning over the documents would give lawmakers “little or no time to carry out their legislative work during this period, which is drawing to a close.”

Had Trump persuaded the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter, he would have let the clock run out for Democrats, as Republicans will control the House starting in January. If the issue had not been resolved by then, they would almost certainly have rescinded the request for documents.

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The Ways and Means panel and its chairman, Democrat Richard Neal, initially requested Trump’s 2019 tax returns as part of an IRS audit program and investigation into the then-president’s tax compliance. A federal law states that the IRS “must provide” any official’s tax return to a specific group of lawmakers.

During the Trump administration, the IRS defended then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision not to provide the returns to Congress. Mnuchin argued that he could withhold the documents because he concluded that they were requested by Democrats for political reasons. After this the Congressmen filed a case.

When Biden took office, the panel renewed the request, requesting Trump’s tax returns and additional information from 2015 to 2020. After this, Trump tried to stop the delivery of documents to the courts.

Then-Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr. obtained copies of Trump’s personal and business tax documents as part of a criminal investigation. That case also went to the Supreme Court, which rejected Trump’s argument that he enjoys broad immunity as president.

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