Trump Asks Supreme Court To Shield His Tax Returns From House Democrats

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Former President Donald Trump filed an emergency application Monday asking the Supreme Court to temporarily block a House committee from reviewing his tax returns.

The document is requesting that the Supreme Court implement a temporary halt on the House Committee on Ways & Means’ years-long effort to review six years of tax returns and files in connection to the former president and eight of his businesses by Wednesday. This effort followed a ruling by the federal appeals court that paved the way for the committee to obtain the returns, according to CNBC.

The filing additionally argued that the committee’s request is politically influenced and is an attack on the separation of powers by the legislative branch.

“If allowed to stand, it will undermine the separation of powers and render the office of the Presidency vulnerable to invasive information demands from political opponents in the legislative branch,” the document read. “Review is of the utmost importance, and the Court should preserve its ability to grant it—not just to one ‘particular President,’ but also for ‘the Presidency itself.'”

House Democrats are seeking access to the returns to investigate whether Trump violated the Constitution’s emoluments clauses by accepting payments from foreign governments while in office, NBC News reported. The committee also wants to audit the lease granted to a Trump-owned business in 2013 to operate the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

In April 2019, Democratic Massachusetts Rep. and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal requested the tax returns, audit information and administrative files from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax years 2013 and 2018, the document read. The document argued that Trump’s returns from before he was in office should not qualify to fit the presidential audit program. (RELATED: Democrats Want Trump’s Tax Returns, But Face Big Hurdle To Get Them)

“President Trump was not subject to that program for half of the tax years in the initial request, and none of the business entities in the request ever have been,” according to the filing.

A three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals approved of the committee’s request Thursday to receive the tax returns from the IRS, according to CNN. Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, the documents are set to be turned over Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled in August 2021 that Trump’s accountants had to hand over some, but not all, of Trump’s returns from Mazars, an accounting firm subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee. Mehta said that obtaining returns dating back to 2011 was unreasonable since Trump did not assume office until 2017.