Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocks House Democrats from getting Trump tax records

Washington – Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday temporarily blocked the House Ways and Means Committee’s access to several years of former President Donald Trump’s tax records, two days before they were to be turned over.

Roberts, in a brief order, temporarily stayed the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit pending further action from him or the full court. He also gave the Ways and Means Committee until November 10. to respond to Trump’s urgent request for the Supreme Court to intervene in the long-running dispute over his tax records.

Roberts oversees emergency matters arising from the DC circuit.

Trump on Monday appealed to the higher court after a federal appeals court in Washington last week rejected his request for the full court to reconsider the three-judge panel’s decision that the Ways and Means Committee could get several years from his tax returns.

The D.C. Circuit’s refusal to hear the case cleared the way for the IRS to turn over Trump’s tax records to a House panel, and the agency was poised to do so Thursday.

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In an emergency request for Roberts, Trump’s lawyers said the dispute with House Democrats over his record raises separation-of-powers issues that will affect future presidents.

“The committee’s purpose in requesting President Trump’s tax returns has nothing to do with IRS funding or staffing issues and everything to do with the release of the president’s tax information to the public,” they argued.

Trump’s legal team also told the Supreme Court that public statements by Tax and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., who sought the records, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi show they are seeking to obtain the former president’s financial records to reveal his “tax information”. to the public for disclosure’.

The legal battle between Trump and congressional Democrats is over Neal’s 2019 election. An IRS request for several years of tax returns and related information for Trump and some of his business entities. Neal’s request was made under a federal law that allows Congress to request tax information from certain individuals from the agency.

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At the time, the Treasury Department, under the Trump administration, refused to comply, arguing that Neal’s request was not based on a legitimate legislative purpose. The committee then sued the IRS and the Treasury Department to force them to turn over the records.

With the controversy pending, President Biden took office and Neal renewed his bid, this time seeking the 2015-2020 term. tax returns. The Biden administration has said the Treasury Department must provide the records to Congress, and the department has said it intends to do so.

Trump again went to court to block the release of his extraditions, unsuccessfully arguing that House Democrats’ requests are unconstitutional and serve no valid legislative purpose.

In filing the lawsuit with the Supreme Court, Trump said the legal issues in his case are “unsettled” and require a high court review.

“No Congress has ever used its legislative authority to require the president’s tax returns,” his lawyers wrote, later adding that Congress does not have the information Trump urgently needs “to investigate general legislation to fund and regulate future IRS audits.” presidents”.

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Trump has fought numerous court battles to protect his financial information from congressional and state investigators. in 2019 The House Oversight and Reform Committee issued a subpoena to his accounting firm Mazars for the former president’s financial records, setting off a legal battle that ended up in the Supreme Court before being sent back to lower courts. Trump and the Oversight Committee reached an agreement in September, ending the litigation.

Supreme Court too decided in June 2020 to allow the Manhattan district attorney to obtain a trove of Mr. Trump’s business records and tax returns. Financial information was upside down in 2021 February. after the trial court rejected again Trump’s attempt to shield his record from prosecutors.

Robert Legare contributed to this report.


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