A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected former President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to prevent a congressional committee from accessing his tax records.
The US Circuit Court of Appeals’ denial for Washington, DC, comes after a panel of three judges in the court unanimously ruled in August that the House Ways and Means Committee may obtain Trump’s tax records after years of effort to keep them safe. set.
Trump can appeal Thursday’s ruling to the Supreme Court. His lawyers have indicated in previous files that they would appeal to the Supreme Court if the appeals court rejected his request for a hearing.
NBC News has reached out to a Trump attorney for comment.
Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, chairman of Ways and Means, said in a statement Thursday that the committee had waited “long enough” for the documents. Neal made a formal request to the Treasury Department for the tax administration in April 2019 for the first time.
“The law has always been on our side. Former President Trump has tried to delay the inevitable, but again, the Court has confirmed the strength of our position,” Neal said. “We’ve waited long enough — we need to begin our oversight of the IRS’s mandatory presidential audit program ASAP.”
The three-judge panel said in August that the House committee had authority to obtain Trump’s tax records from the Treasury Department, and upheld a district court ruling from late last year.
Democrats have been calling for Trump to release his tax returns since the 2016 presidential campaign. While no law requires presidential candidates to release their tax returns, nearly every Republican and Democratic candidate in the modern era has released their returns. Trump, however, has declined.
Thursday’s court ruling adds to Trump’s legal woes. The day before, his lawyers accepted the subpoena issued to him by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots.
Separately, the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud case began this week. Prosecutors allege the company was involved in a 15-year scheme to compensate top executives “off the books” to help them evade taxes.