The decision ends a three-year legal battle over attempts to obtain the former president’s taxes.
The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for the upcoming transfer of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a congressional committee after a three-year legal battle.
The court rejected without comment Trump’s plea for an injunction that would have prevented the US Treasury Department from providing tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses to the Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee for six years.
It was Trump’s second Supreme Court defeat in as many months. In October, the court rejected to participate in the legal battle surrounding a search of Trump’s Florida estate conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that uncovered classified documents.
In the dispute over his tax returns, the Treasury had refused to provide the data during Trump’s presidency. But the Biden administration said it is clear under federal law that the commission has the right to investigate taxpayer returns, including the president’s.
Lower Courts agreed that the commission has broad powers to obtain tax returns, rejecting Trump’s claims that the commission went too far and only wanted the documents so they could be made public.
Chief Justice John Roberts laid a temporary freezing on November 1 to allow the court to weigh the legal issues raised by Trump’s lawyers against the counterarguments of the administration and the US House of Representatives.
Just over three weeks later, the court lifted Roberts’ order with no noted dissent.
The House argued that an order barring the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from issuing the tax return would give lawmakers “little or no time to complete their legislative work during this Congress, which is fast approaching its end.”
Had Trump persuaded the nation’s highest court to intervene, he could have run out of time on the committee, with Republicans poised to Take control of the house in January. They would almost certainly have dropped the archive request if the issue had not been resolved by then.
The House Ways and Means panel and its chair, Democrat Richard Neal of Massachusetts, first requested Trump’s tax returns in 2019 as part of an investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s audit program and the former’s tax compliance. president.
A federal law says the Internal Revenue Service will “provide” each taxpayer’s returns to a handful of top legislators.
The Justice Department under the Trump administration had defended a decision by then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to withhold tax returns from Congress. Mnuchin argued that he could withhold the documents because he concluded they were wanted by Democrats for partisan reasons. A lawsuit followed.
After President Joe Biden took office, the committee renewed the request, seeking Trump’s tax returns and additional information from 2015 to 2020. The White House took the position that the request was valid and that the Treasury had no choice but to act on it. to fulfil. Trump then tried to stop the transfer in court.
Then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr copies obtained of Trump’s personal and business tax records as part of a criminal investigation. That case also went to the Supreme Court, which rejected Trump’s argument that he had broad immunity as president.