It has been traditional for presidents to release their tax records, something Donald Trump has vociferously refused to do. But the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has just ruled against the former president’s attempt to halt the “release of his tax records” to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Although most tax returns are private, that has not been true in all instances. The chair of the committee can ask for them for oversight purposes. Chair Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) began requesting Trump’s returns in 2019. Then controlled by Trump, the Treasury Department would not comply, because it said the committee did not have “a valid purpose,” according to The Washington Post.
That led the committee to file a lawsuit requesting Trump’s returns. After President Joe Biden moved into the White House, the Treasury, under new leadership, said it would act in accordance with the request. But then the ex-president appealed.
The 45th president listed a whole litany of excuses. The statute was “too broad.” This was a case of “unconstitutional retaliation,” and “[the request] violated Trump’s First Amendment rights.”
Last month, the court refused the ex-president’s request for a “special master” to review the classified documents located at Trump’s winter home and resort, Mar-a-Lago:
‘Breaking news: The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied former president Donald Trump’s efforts to block the release of his tax records to a congressional committee that has sought the information for years.’
Given the court’s order,, the Treasury Department could soon release “six years of Trump’s tax records:”
‘The court’s order means that the Treasury Department may quickly hand over six years of tax records from Trump and some of his companies to the House Ways and Means Committee. There were no recorded dissents in the court’s order.’
Legislators said they required the previous president’s tax returns to assist in their evaluation of annual presidential audits. Trump claimed that the lawmakers were simply “on a fishing expedition designed to embarrass him:”
‘Lawmakers have said they need Trump’s tax returns from his time in office to help evaluate the effectiveness of annual presidential audits. Trump has argued that Democratic lawmakers are on a fishing expedition designed to embarrass him politically.’
However, the Democrats heading the committee have a limited amount of time in office before the Republican majority takes control of the House of Representatives in January. The 2022 midterm elections flipped control of the House from the Democrats to the GOP, no matter how slight the Republican majority:
‘Time is not on the side of Democrats who run the committee. The demands for the records will almost surely expire in January, when Republicans take control of the House as a result of the recent midterm elections.’
Democrats began asking for Trump’s returns in 2016, according to NBC News.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Christie writes Gloria Christie Reports & Three White Lions Substack newsletters and a Three White Lions podcast available on Apple, Spotify, etc. She is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress). Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions her book on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, etc.