Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocks House Democrats from obtaining Trump tax records

Washington — Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday temporarily blocked the House Ways and Means Committee from getting several years’ worth of former President Donald Trump’s tax records, two days before they were due to be handed over.

Roberts, in a brief order, issued an interim stay on a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, pending further action from either his or the full court. He also ordered the Ways and Means Committee to respond to Trump’s emergency request for the Supreme Court to intervene in a long-running dispute over his tax records by November 10.

Roberts oversees emergency matters arising from the DC circuit.

Trump on Monday moved high court After the federal appeals court in Washington last week declined his request for the full court to reconsider the decision by a three-judge panel, which found that the Ways and Means Committee can get Many years of their tax returns.

The DC Circuit’s refusal to re-hear the case paved the way for the IRS to submit Trump’s tax records to a House panel, and the agency was set to do so on Thursday.

In Roberts’ emergency request, Trump’s lawyers said the dispute over his record with House Democrats raises questions of separation of powers that would affect future presidents.

“The committee’s purpose in requesting President Trump’s tax return has nothing to do with funding or staffing issues at the IRS and everything to do with the release of the president’s tax information to the public,” he claimed.

Trump’s legal team also told the Supreme Court that public statements by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neill, a Democrat from Massachusetts who asked for the records, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated they were aimed at the former president’s financials. Records have to be obtained to uncover their “tax information”. For the risk to the public.”

The legal battle between Trump and congressional Democrats stemmed from several years of requests from the IRS for tax returns and related information for Trump and some of his business entities in 2019. Neil’s request was made under a federal law that allows Congress to request tax information on certain individuals from the agency.

At the time, the Treasury Department under the Trump administration refused to comply, arguing that Neil’s request was not supported by a legitimate legislative purpose. The committee then sued to force the IRS and Treasury Department to hand over the records.

As the dispute was pending, President Biden took office and Neil renewed his request, this time asking for tax returns for 2015 to 2020. The Biden administration said the Treasury Department would have to give the record to Congress, which the department said it intended to do.

Trump again turned to the courts to block the release of his return, unsuccessfully arguing House Democrats’ requests were unconstitutional and lacked a legitimate legislative purpose.

In his Supreme Court filing, Trump said the legal issues presented in his case are “untenable” and warrant a High Court review.

“No Congress has ever exercised its legislative powers to demand a President’s tax return,” his lawyers wrote, later adding that Congress does not need to press for Trump’s information. So it may study common law about funding and regulating future IRS audits for presidents.”

Trump has sought to protect his financial information from Congress and state investigators in several court battles. In 2019, the House Oversight and Reform Committee issued a subpoena to his accounting firm, Mazar, for years of the former president’s financial records, starting a legal battle that ended before the Supreme Court and then back to lower courts . Trump and the Monitoring Committee reached an agreement In September, the litigation ended.

Supreme Court also ruled in June 2020 that the Manhattan District Attorney can obtain trophies of Trump’s business records and tax returns. had financial information finished In February 2021 after the High Court rejected again An attempt by Trump to protect his record from prosecutors.

Robert Legare contributed to this report.

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