DOJ, House Dems urge Supreme Court to reject Trump’s bid to shield tax returns

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Democratic lawmakers on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to reject a bid by former President Trump to block the submission of his tax returns to a House panel.

The court documents had been requested by Chief Justice John Roberts, who handles emergency cases arising in the District of Columbia. Roberts, in response to an earlier petition from Trump, temporarily halted proceedings in the House Ways and Means Committee’s prosecution of Trump’s records to give the court time to consider the matter.

In their responses filed Thursday, the DOJ and the House committee pressed the justices to deny Trump’s efforts to further prolong the long legal saga after he appealed his defeat to the lower court.

“The decision below does not present a question worthy of consideration by this Court,” a lawyer for House Democrats wrote. “The appeals court, like the district court, faithfully applied the precedents of this Court in rejecting the Trump parties’ attempt to prevent the Treasury from providing the requested tax information to the President. [of the House Ways and Means Committee].”

Procedurally, Trump is asking the Supreme Court to protect the documents — six years of his tax returns and eight years of his business records — while he formally appeals the lower court’s decision to the justices.

House Democrats, for their part, say it would effectively grant Trump “a preliminary form of ultimate relief that the two lower courts declined after extensive consideration of the merits.”

The DOJ, alongside the House committee, also urged the justices to uphold the ruling against Trump by the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

House Democrats first requested Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury Department while he was in the White House, a request the department denied during his presidency. But under President Biden, the department later agreed to comply with lawmakers’ request.

Federal law generally requires that tax returns be kept secret unless an exception applies, including a written request by the House Ways and Means Committee. The issue in Trump’s litigation largely revolved around whether that exception is constitutional.

The current phase of the litigation came last year when Trump asked a federal judge in DC to block the IRS from handing over his records, citing his privacy concerns and challenging the constitutionality of the committee’s request. Bedroom.

Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden dismissed Trump’s suit late last year. His decision was later upheld by the DC Circuit, which last month denied Trump’s request to rehear the case, prompting him to turn to the Supreme Court.

Trump’s lawyers told the judges that the House panel’s prosecution of the cases was legally invalid.

“The Committee’s purpose in requesting President Trump’s tax returns has nothing to do with funding or personnel issues at the IRS and everything to do with releasing the President’s tax information to the public,” they said. they wrote.

The committee, for its part, argues that it needs the records to inform its review of the IRS presidential audit process.

“Concerns about the IRS’ ability to do so are not entirely new: In the early 1970s, a congressional investigation found that the IRS had understated President Nixon’s liability by more than $400,000. , prompting the IRS to adopt a policy that presidents (and vice presidents’ annual tax returns will be subject to mandatory audit,” the House committee wrote Thursday. “The mandate of the Former President Donald Trump again raised such concerns – and amplified them.”

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