WASHINGTON - Late on Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed former President Donald Trump's attempt to prevent a House committee from obtaining his tax returns.
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U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden stated that Trump’s lawyers’ efforts to block the transfer were legally wrong.
"A long list of Supreme Court cases requires great respect for seemingly effective congressional investigations. Even the special care given by the former president will not change the outcome," McFadden wrote.
McFadden put the ruling on hold for 14 days to allow Trump's legal team time to appeal.
A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal, first requested tax information in April 2019 on the grounds that a federal law required the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to request any one of the three members of Congress. Submit personal tax returns on time. Taxation Committee.
The Treasury Department refused to provide these documents at the time, and the government argued that Congress had no legitimate legislative purpose to seek these documents, only hoping to find things that embarrass Trump.
Neal reiterated this request this year, saying that the fundraising committee hopes to use this information to understand how the IRS is implementing its policy of automatically auditing each president's tax return. This time, supported by the legal position of the Justice Department, the Treasury Department stated that Trump's return should be passed to Congress.
This led to the current lawsuit.
McFadden on Tuesday refuted Trump's statement that Congress has no legitimate need to see returns, but just hopes to find something embarrassing.
"Congress may not expose someone just for the sake of exposure," McFadden said. But he wrote that the committee wants to see how the IRS audits the president's return, which may lead Congress to conclude that it needs to strengthen its authority.
McFadden said that although other members of Congress, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, apparently made political comments hoping to see Trump’s taxation, “the committee only needs to explain an effective legislative purpose,” McFadden said. Added, "It has already done so."
McFadden, who was appointed to the bench by Trump, concluded that Congress can achieve its goals without public returns.
"Publishing returns may be incorrect or unwise, but it is the chairman's right," McFadden wrote, and he also warned that "publishing confidential tax information of political opponents is a measure that will return. It troubles inventors."