Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocks House Democrats from getting Trump tax records

washington — Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday temporarily blocked the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining several years of former President Donald Trump’s tax records, two days before they were due to be released.

Roberts, in a brief order, issued a temporary stay of enforcement of the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit pending further action by him or the full court. He also ordered the Ways and Means Committee to respond to Trump’s emergency request for the Supreme Court to intervene in the long-running dispute over his tax records by Nov. 10.

Robert oversees emergencies arising from the DC circuit.

Trump on Monday appealed to the supreme court after a federal appeals court in Washington last week rejected his request for the full court to reconsider the decision of the three-judge panel, which found that the Committee on Ways and Means could be obtained several years of his tax returns.

The D.C. Circuit’s refusal to hear the case cleared the way for the IRS to turn over Trump’s tax records to a House panel, and the agency was poised to do so Thursday.

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In an emergency request for Roberts, Trump’s lawyers said the dispute with House Democrats over his records raises questions about the separation of powers that will affect future presidents.

“The committee’s purpose in requesting President Trump’s tax returns has nothing to do with IRS funding or staffing issues and everything to do with public disclosure of the president’s tax information,” they argued.

Trump’s legal team also told the Supreme Court that public statements from Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., who sought the records, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi show they are aiming to obtain the former president’s financial records to reveal his “tax information.” for public disclosure.”

The legal battle between Trump and congressional Democrats stems from Neal’s request to the IRS in 2019 to provide several years of tax returns and related information for Trump and some of his business entities. Neal’s request was made under a federal law that allows Congress to request tax information about certain individuals from the agency.

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The Treasury Department, then under the Trump administration, refused to comply, arguing that Neal’s request was not based on a legitimate legislative purpose. The committee then sued the IRS and the Treasury Department to force them to turn over the records.

With the dispute still unresolved, President Biden took office and Neal renewed his request, this time asking for tax returns for 2015-2020. year. The Biden administration said the Treasury Department must turn over the documents to Congress, which the department said it plans to do.

Trump again went to court to block the release of his returnees, unsuccessfully arguing that House Democrats’ requests were unconstitutional and lacked a valid legislative purpose.

In a filing with the Supreme Court, Trump said the legal issues raised in his case were “unsettled” and could be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

“No Congress has ever used its legislative authority to request the president’s tax returns,” his lawyers wrote, later adding that Congress has no urgent need for Trump’s information “so that it can study general legislation governing funding and future IRS audits.” presidents.”

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Trump has sought to shield his financial information from congressional and state investigators in numerous court battles. In 2019, the House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoenaed his accounting firm, Mazars, for years of records of the former president’s finances, setting off a legal battle that ended up in the Supreme Court and was then sent back to lower courts. Trump and the Oversight Committee reached a settlement in September, ending the legal proceedings.

Also the Supreme Court decided in June 2020 that the Manhattan district attorney could obtain Trump’s business records and tax returns. Financial information was fell over In February 2021, according to the Supreme Court rejected again Trump’s attempt to shield his records from prosecutors.

Robert Legard contributed to this report.

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