Justice Department Orders Treasury To Give Trump Tax Information To Congress

The US Department of Justice on Friday ordered the Treasury to hand over Donald Trump’s tax records to Congress, in a major breakthrough in an investigation into the former president’s finances launched in 2019.

The Justice Department said the House Ways and Means Committee, which searched six years of records that some believe would expose questionable accounting, had legitimate reason to see them.

“Access to former President Trump’s tax returns is a matter of national security,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress.

“The American people deserve to know the facts of their troubling conflicts of interest and undermining of our security and democracy as president.”

The ruling was the second legal setback this year for the property mogul’s long-standing efforts to prevent his tax returns, including data on assets, income and tax payments, from becoming public.

In February, the Supreme Court refused to block a subpoena of Trump’s taxes by a New York prosecutor investigating his business and personal financial transactions.

In that case, the documents are protected from disclosure.

If the records are turned over to the House committee, who wanted them in an Internal Revenue Service investigation, they are much more likely to be disclosed.

All U.S. presidents since Richard Nixon, who took office in 1969, have made their tax and wealth records public.

But before he was elected, Trump refused to disclose any data on his income, claiming his data was “under control” by the IRS.

If true, that scrutiny was incomplete by the time he left office on January 20, an extraordinary time for such a process to still be underway.

Resistance to subpoenas

Meanwhile, the Treasury and Justice Department, led by Trump loyalists at the time, resisted subpoenas to hand over the documents, forcing the commission to take the case to court.

Commission chairman Richard Neal had argued that his members needed the returns to understand how the IRS conducts its presidential audits and whether Trump had exercised “undue influence” on the agency.

“Without reviewing the requested return materials, the committee cannot guarantee that the IRS’s audit process is functioning fairly and effectively, understand how provisions of the tax code are implied by President Trump’s returns, or exercise its legislative discretion to determine whether changes to the code are possible.” justified,” the panel said in 2019.

But behind that question are suspicions that billionaire Trump has manipulated the tax code to pay very little, possibly violating tax laws significantly, as alleged in the New York investigation.

(AFP)

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