OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump’s tax returns will be released by the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday morning.
“The returns will be placed into the congressional record on Friday morning during a House pro forma session. That pro forma session will occur around 9 a.m. ET on Friday. There will also be a formal announcement Friday from the committee. The highly anticipated release comes after the panel last week asserted that the IRS failed to properly audit the former president’s taxes while he was in office, CNN reported.
“The committee released a report that detailed six years’ worth of the former president’s tax returns, including his claims of massive annual losses that significantly reduced his tax burden. The committee also released a supplemental report from the Joint Committee on Taxation that included details on Trump’s tax returns from 2015 to 2020, ahead of the planned release of the returns themselves,” the outlet added.
Trump tax returns to be released by House panel on Fridayhttps://t.co/WIWfrPeWW7
— Patriot Alerts (@alerts___) December 28, 2022
In November, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Trump’s request to block the Democratic-led House committee from obtaining his tax returns.
“The denial allows Trump’s tax returns to be released to the House Ways and Means Committee, which has been attempting for years to obtain them from the Internal Revenue Service as part of its investigation into the service’s presidential audit program. Tuesday’s order, which was unsigned and included no dissent, vacates a temporary hold Chief Justice John Roberts placed on the documents earlier this month,” Axios reported.
“Trump, who has been fighting for years to block the release of his tax returns, requested the high court weigh in after a federal appeals court also declined one of his requests to block the release of the documents. Lawyers for Trump have argued that the committee does not have a legitimate legislative purpose for the documents and seeks only to publish them. The Department of Justice under the Biden administration argued in a 2021 opinion that the committee’s request was legitimate and the Trump-era Treasury Department had no valid reason to refuse it,” the outlet added.
However, the dynamic has changed given Republicans narrowly won control of the U.S. House in the next Congress.
That means that Republicans can — and will likely — scrap the Ways and Means Committee’s investigation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement on the decision, saying: “The House looks forward to promptly receiving and reviewing these documents. These documents are vital to meeting the House’s Constitutional mandate: guarding the public interest, defending our national security, and holding our public officials to account. Congress must enact legislation requiring Presidents and candidates for President to disclose their tax returns.”
Earlier that month, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts ruled in favor of Trump in his appeal to keep his tax returns from Congress.
“Chief Justice John Roberts agreed to temporarily put on hold a lower court order requiring the release of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service to a Democratic-led House committee,” CNN reported.
Democrats have been fighting to get Trump’s tax returns for years.
Last December, a federal judge rejected 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.”
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.”
After President Joe Biden took office, the Department of Justice reversed course and claimed there are “sufficient reasons” for the Democrat panel to see the material.