OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A federal judge has rejected Donald Trump’s lawsuit to shield his tax returns from congressional Democrats.
U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, dismissed the case, citing Supreme Court precedent.
McFadden said Trump was “wrong on the law” and that Congress is due “great deference” in its inquiries.
“Even the special solicitude accorded former Presidents does not alter the outcome,” McFadden wrote in a 45-page ruling. “The Court will therefore dismiss this case.”
“Even if the former President is right on the facts, he is wrong on the law,” McFadden said. “A long line of Supreme Court cases requires great deference to facially valid congressional inquiries.”
“The House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., asked the IRS to release Trump’s tax returns in April 2019, kick-starting a lengthy court battle. Trump was the first sitting president not to release his tax records upon entering office in decades,” Fox Business reported.
McFadden did suggest that Rep. Neal should refrain from making Trump’s tax information public, though he noted it was the “chairman’s right to do so.”
“Anyone can see that publishing confidential tax information of a political rival is the type of move that will return to plague the inventor,” the judge wrote. “It might not be right or wise to publish the returns, but it is the Chairman’s right to do so. Congress has granted him this extraordinary power, and courts are loath to second guess congressional motives or duly enacted statutes. The Court will not do so here and thus must dismiss this case.”
“Ultimately, though, these statements are irrelevant to the Court’s analysis,” McFadden wrote. [T]he Supreme Court’s precedents analyze whether Congress has a valid legislative purpose, not whether that is the only purpose.”
“The Court agrees with the Federal Parties that returns from those other years could further the Committee’s study of the Program,” McFadden ruled. “Like an audit of any other taxpayer, a presidential audit can extend beyond a current return to “related returns” from other years.”
The witch hunt for Trump’s tax returns has never ended.
Back in August, a federal judge ruled that Donald Trump’s personal accountants must hand over two years’ worth of his tax and financial records to Democrat-led House panel investigation.
House Democrats are still trying to investigate whether Trump’s businesses profited while he was in the White House.
Prior to that, the U.S. Justice Department ordered the Internal Revenue Service to hand over Donald Trump’s tax returns to the Democrat-led House committee.
The DOJ said in its order that the House panel has offered “sufficient reasons” for requesting the material.
Back in 2019, the department’s Office of Legal Counsel found that the request for Trump’s taxes by the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee was based on a “disingenuous” objective aimed at exposing them to the public.
Now that Joe Biden is in office, the DOJ has reversed course and claims there are “sufficient reasons” for the Democrat panel to see the material.
Back in February, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Trump to release financial and tax records to prosecutors in Manhattan, New York.
Trump responded in a lengthy statement, calling the ruling “a continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our country.”
“So now, for more than two years, New York City has been looking at almost every transaction I’ve ever done, including seeking tax returns which were done by among the biggest and most prestigious law and accounting firms in the U.S. The Tea Party was treated far better by the IRS than Donald Trump,” he continued.
“That’s what is done in third world countries. Even worse are those who run for prosecutorial or attorney general offices in far-left states and jurisdictions pledging to take out a political opponent,” he said.
“I will fight on, just as I have, for the last five years (even before I was successfully elected), despite all of the election crimes that were committed against me. We will win!” Trump concluded in his statement.