Trump Continues Wall-Building – Around His Taxes
As expected, the ever-obfuscating twice-impeached former president Donald Trump on Wednesday asked a federal court to block the Treasury Department from handing over to Congress six years of his tax returns. Recall that last week the Justice Department reversed an earlier position and said the documents must be turned the House Ways and Means Committee.
Committee chair Richard Neal first requested in 2019 that Treasury provide Trump’s individual tax returns for years 2013 to 2018, along with returns from eight of his businesses in that same time frame. Neal made that request under House rules that dictate the Ways and Means Committee shall demand and receive from Treasury any tax return for the purpose of examining it and improving the tax code.
Trump’s lawyers argued in a filing with the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia that Neal’s requests lack a legitimate legislative purpose and instead are meant to expose the former president’s private tax information for political gain.
“The requests are tailored to, and in practical operation will affect, only President Trump. The requests single out President Trump because he is a Republican and a political opponent,” they told the court. “They were made to retaliate against President Trump because of his policy positions, his political beliefs, and his protected speech, including the positions he took during the 2016 and 2020 campaigns.
Trump’s attorneys also claimed the purpose of Neal’s request to the IRS for Mr. Trump’s tax information and from eight of his business entities is not to help inform future legislation, but to obtain the records “for the sake of exposure, to improperly conduct law enforcement.”