Congress Can Get Trump Tax Records, U.S. Appeals Court Rules
A federal appeals court sided with a House committee seeking access to former President Donald Trump's tax returns, rejecting Trump's contention that Congress was overstepping, Jessica Gresko reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: Trump Tower in Chicago
A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with a lower court judge’s decision in favor of Congress. US District Judge Trevor McFadden — a former Justice Department official and Trump appointee — ruled in December that the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has broad authority to request the records, and the Treasury Department should provide the tax returns to the committee.
The three appeals court judges agreed. "The Trump Parties contend that the Chairman’s Request exceeds Congress’s investigative powers. It does not," the judges wrote.
Two of the judges, David Sentelle and Karen Henderson, were appointed by President Ronald Reagan and one, Robert Wilkins, was appointed by President Barack Obama.
In their ruling, the judges also rejected Trump's argument that the request was problematic in part because it did not include a promise to keep the records confidential. A federal law says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) “shall furnish” the returns of any taxpayer to a handful of top lawmakers.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Trump would appeal or whether there'd be a resolution of the case before a new Congress takes office in January. If Republicans recapture control of the House in the fall election, they could drop the request for records next year.
The judges' decision came as the former president continues to be embroiled in legal fights. On Monday, August 8, 2022, the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House.