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    Supreme Court Blocks Congress From Receiving Trump Documents

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    For some time now, the House Ways and Means Committee has been attempting to obtain Donald Trump’s tax records. There has been considerable back and forth in the rulings and objections.

    CNN stated that after former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declined to provide the committee with Trump’s federal returns for the years 2015 through 2020, the committee filed a lawsuit to obtain them. As part of its inquiry into how the Internal Revenue Service audits presidential tax returns, that committee has requested access to Trump’s tax records as well as those of linked commercial companies.

    The Treasury Department was required to provide the requested tax returns, according to a decision made by Trump-appointed federal court judge Trevor McFadden in December. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit then heard Trump’s appeal of McFadden’s decision.

    That appeals court’s three-judge panel unanimously rejected Trump’s appeal in August. The panel pointed out that while tax returns are typically kept private by federal law, there is one exception: when the Ways and Means Committee chairman requests such returns in writing from the secretary of the Treasury Department. Judge David Sentelle stated in the panel’s conclusion, “The Chairman has identified a legitimate legislative purpose that it requires information to accomplish,”.  “At this stage, it is not our place to delve deeper than this.”

    Mnuchin, who was the Treasury secretary at the time, claimed that the panel lacked a justifiable legislative objective.

    If Republicans win back the majority in the House of Representatives in the next midterm elections, the simmering conflict might come to an end. The Republican-controlled House is anticipated to halt the Ways and Means Committee’s three-year effort to obtain Trump’s tax returns if that occurs and the case remains unresolved.

    Midterm elections are scheduled for Tuesday, but the IRS’s quest to obtain the returns before voting ends on Tuesday has pushed the matter to the very last minute.

    Former President Trump requested on Monday that the Supreme Court overturn a lower court’s decision to require the IRS to hand over years’ worth of his tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee later this week. Previously, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had mandated that they be delivered. Trump’s legal representatives claimed that the D.C. Circuit’s decision against him would “undermine the separation of powers and render the office of the Presidency vulnerable to invasive information demands from political opponents in the legislative branch” if permitted to stand.

    Additionally, Trump said that the House committee is more interested in “releasing the President’s tax information to the public,” rather than in using the tax returns to investigate how the Internal Revenue Service audits presidents and vice presidents, which is the stated legislative goal.

    More on this story via The Republic Brief:

    Trump’s lawyers specifically asked the court to act by Wednesday to delay an appeals court ruling that cleared the way for the IRS to deliver the tax returns on Thursday.

    “This case raises important questions about the separation of powers that will affect every future President,” Trump’s lawyers said in their emergency application to Chief Justice John Roberts. The chief justice has authority over such petitions from cases arising from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    The requested delay would give Trump time to formally ask the high court to hear an appeal of the ruling. But the lawyers also said the Supreme Court could consider Monday’s filing itself a request to hear the case, and the filing accused the committee of trying to get Trump’s tax returns solely for the purpose of releasing them to the public, and not for a review of IRS audits of presidents, as the House panel has stated. CONTINUE READING…

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