Trump Loses Again: Appeals Court Rules Congress Can See His Tax Records
Former President Trump must have the worst record in appealing court decisions in U.S. History. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against Trump, saying the House Ways and Means Committee's request was justified as part of its legislative work.
Just a day after the FBI executed a Federal Court subpoena to search and seize documents from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida; he again found the Federal Appeals court finding against him and authorizing the House Ways and Means Committee to receive the tax records immediately. Since the Treasury Department is now headed by a Democrat appointee Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, these records are likely to be turned over immediately.
The Federal Appeals Court made it clear in its decision that the House of Representatives committee has the right to see former President Donald Trump's tax returns and rejected Trump's claims that the request is too political to prevail.
The Federal Appeals Court said the request did not violate the separation of powers principles and was not unconstitutional, and the Biden administration's decision to provide the returns to Congress did not violate Trump's free speech rights.
Trump will likely appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Should SCOTUS issue a stay on delivering Trump's tax returns to The Ways and Means Committee, which sued for them originally in 2019 to force disclosure of Trump's tax returns, it could all but guarantee a backlash against the court should the Democrats add seats to its caucus in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
The law governing these documents and the right of The Ways and Means Committee Chairman to review them is ironclad. It's the reason the Appeals Court rejected Trump lawyers' arguments that the records should be withheld because the panel's motive for seeking them was political.
The Appeals Court ruling said….
"When the committee makes a request that is within its authority to make, i.e., within Congress's investigative power, the (Treasury) secretary does not have a choice as to whether to provide the information,"
This decision by the Appeals Court follows a district judge's decision in December 2021 to dismiss a bid by Trump to keep his tax returns from the panel, ruling that Congress' legislative interest outweighed any deference Trump should receive as a former president.
Trump was the first president in 40 years not to release his tax returns which would reveal details of his wealth and the activities of his family business, the Trump Organization, under investigation by the N.Y. State attorney General's Office.
The Appeals Court also said in its ruling….
"While it is possible that Congress may attempt to threaten the sitting president with an invasive request after leaving office, every president takes office knowing that he will be subject to the same laws as all other citizens upon leaving office."
"This is a feature of our democratic republic, not a bug."
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