Trump Asks Court Not To Release Tax Returns To Congress

(Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Former President Donald Trump’s legal team asked a federal court Wednesday to block the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from releasing his tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Trump’s lawyers argued in a filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that releasing his tax returns to Congress is simply a means to “expose private tax information … for political gain,” and that the legal authority invoked by the committee has never been used against a president or other elected official.

“They were made to retaliate against President Trump because of his policy positions, his political beliefs, and his protected speech, including the positions he took during the 2016 and 2020 campaigns,” his lawyers wrote of the request.

Trump’s lawyers further argued the Committee’s request for the tax returns “bore little resemblance to an effort to investigate how the IRS audits presidents.” They added that the Committee’s request “asked for the information of only one president, asked for open files for which audits have not been completed, and never asked the IRS for the most relevant information.”

The filing Wednesday not only asked the court to block the Treasury but also order the Committee to “end all ongoing examinations” of Trump and financial entities under his name.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel previously ordered the Treasury to deliver the former president’s tax returns to Congress, arguing in a memo that federal law clearly allows for House committees to request and obtain such information.

The Committee originally requested Trump’s tax returns in June. Democrats in Congress had initially tried to obtain Trump’s tax returns in 2019 by subpoenaing former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and former IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

Trump’s Justice Department at the time argued that the Committee failed to “demonstrate a legitimate legislative purpose” for obtaining the tax information, according to The Hill. But the memo from Biden’s Justice Department in late July reversed the position taken during the Trump administration. (RELATED: Federal Judge Throws Out Trump’s Latest Attempt To Avoid Releasing Tax Returns)

Trump lawyer Ronald Fischetti said in a statement Monday that “this politicization and harassment of Mr. Trump is uncalled for and outrageous,” adding he had “never seen anything like this” in his career as a lawyer, according to Reuters.

“There is no evidence of any wrongdoing here and I object to the release of the returns not only on behalf of my client but on behalf of all future holders of the Office of the President of the United States,” Fischetti said.