WASHINGTON — The Justice Department and the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to deny former President Donald Trump’s request to block the panel’s access to his tax records.
In the 30-page filing, Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that Trump and his legal team have failed to meet the standard of the “extraordinary exemption” they requested.
Prelogar wrote that the executive had determined that US law required the Secretary of the Treasury to comply with a request from Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., for tax returns and related information related to Trump and various companies. in which he has an interest.
Neal’s request “promotes a valid legislative purpose and is consistent with the separation of powers,” she said, adding that a district court agreed and an appeals court unanimously upheld the decision.
“The Court of Appeal correctly concluded that the 2021 petition serves a valid legislative purpose, and the court correctly found that the petition does not threaten the separation of powers within the framework formulated by this Court in Trump v. Mazars USA , LLP,” the judge said. The response of the department said.
Earlier this month, Chief Justice John Roberts Chief temporarily blocked access to Trump’s tax records for the Ways and Means panel. Roberts said the case would be suspended until the court acts and asked the committee to file a response to Trump’s request by Thursday.
Following the DOJ’s filing, the committee also filed a similar 52-page argument on Thursday against Trump’s request. Democrats on the Ways and Means committee argue that their request falls within the purview of Congress under Article I, does not violate the separation of powers, and that granting Trump’s request “would seriously harm Congress.”
Citing the decision of the Court of Appeals, they wrote that the committee “has a strong interest in the Trump parties’ tax returns and tax return information, given the unique challenges that Mr. Trump presented to the IRS during his presidency. “
They continued, “The request is well-aligned to clarify how the IRS conducted audits of Mr. Trump while he was president and whether reforms are needed to increase the IRS’s ability to audit presidents in the future; the committee has gone to great lengths to substantiate its needs; and the request will burden the executive branch negligibly, if at all, because it involves a former president and seeks records that modern presidents have routinely voluntarily released.”
Trump, unlike other recent presidents, has refused to release his tax returns while scrutinizing his business affairs, turning to the judges after an appeals court in Washington refused to intervene in the release of the data. The Supreme Court recently rejected similar requests from Trump.
Neal has said he sought the information as part of the committee’s investigation into whether the tax laws related to presidents should be changed. But Trump’s attorneys say the Ways and Means Committee’s claim that it needs the information to investigate how the IRS conducts the auditing process for presidents cannot withstand scrutiny.
“The committee’s purpose in requesting President Trump’s tax returns has nothing to do with funding or staffing issues at the IRS and everything to do with disclosing the president’s tax information,” the attorneys wrote in a recent court filing.