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Supreme Court approves handover of Trump tax returns to Congress

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Former President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 18.Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the imminent extradition of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to congressional committees after a three-year legal battle.

The court rejected Trump’s plea for an order to prevent the Treasury Department from filing Trump’s six years of tax returns without specific objection. playing cards Part of his business was transferred to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.

The only recent president, Trump, either during his successful presidential campaign in 2016 or during his four years in the White House, owing to ongoing audits by the IRS, Trump had no tax returns. Refused to publish.Trump last week He announced that he would run again in 2024.

It’s the second time in months that the former president has lost a Supreme Court case, and the third this year. In October, a court refused to intervene in a legal battle over the FBI’s search of Trump’s Florida estate and the discovery of classified documents.

In January, a court refused to stop the National Archives from submitting documents to a House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots. Only Judge Clarence Thomas voted in Trump’s favor.

In the controversy over Trump’s tax returns, the Treasury Department had refused to provide records during Trump’s presidency. But the Biden administration said federal law makes it clear that the commission has the right to examine taxpayer returns, including the president.

A lower court agreed that the commission had broad powers to obtain tax returns, dismissed Trump’s claim that it was beyond scope and wanted the documents only so they could be made public. I was there.

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Chief Justice John Roberts imposed a temporary freeze on Nov. 1, allowing the court to weigh legal issues raised by Trump’s lawyers against the administration’s and House’s counterarguments.

Just three weeks later, the court dismissed Judge Roberts’ order without comment.

Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, who will chair the committee until the next legislative session begins in January, said in a statement that his committee “will implement the oversight we have asked for over the last three and a half years.” said.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The House of Representatives argued that an order barring the IRS from filing tax returns would give lawmakers “little or no time to complete legislative work during this Congress that is nearing its end.”

If Trump had persuaded the Supreme Court to intervene, he could have run out of commission clocks with Republicans poised to take control of the House in January. had the issue not been resolved, they would almost certainly have dropped the record request.

The House Ways and Means Committee first requested Trump’s tax returns in 2019 as part of an investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s audit program and the former president’s compliance with tax laws. Federal law states that the Internal Revenue Service “provides” taxpayer returns to a handful of top lawmakers.

The Justice Department under Trump has defended then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision to withhold tax returns from Congress. Mnuchin argued that he could withhold the documents because he concluded Democrats wanted them for partisan reasons. A lawsuit was filed.

After President Joe Biden took office, the commission updated its request, asking for Trump’s tax returns and additional information from 2015 to 2020. The White House has taken the position that the request is valid and that the Treasury Department has no choice but to comply. Trump then tried to stop the extradition in court.

Then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. obtained copies of Trump’s personal and business tax records as part of a criminal investigation. That case also went to the Supreme Court, which rejected claims that Trump had broad immunity as president.

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