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President Trump’s lawyers are asking a federal judge for a conference call Wednesday to discuss what happens next with House Democrats’ long-running suit for his tax returns as the party is poised to take control of both Congress and the White House.
In a court filing Tuesday, they expressed concern that Democrats could seize the long-hidden filings without notice once President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
House Democrats sued the Treasury Department to hand over six year’s worth of Trump’s personal and business records under an arcane law allowing the heads of Congress’s tax committees to examine anyone’s confidential tax information. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has refused, calling it an illegitimate request.
But the incoming administration, set to take over Wednesday with Biden’s swearing in, could simply hand over the returns to congressional Democrats without Trump even knowing.
“All of this raises the possibility that a renewed request from the committee might be satisfied without giving intervenor-defendants notice or an opportunity to be heard on their legal objections,” Trump’s lawyers say.
They broached the idea of the next administration giving them a heads-up if Democrats continue to seek the filings so they have an opportunity to challenge that in court.
That’s something Trump won in a separate court battle over a New York state law giving congressional Democrats access to Trump’s state returns. Though House Democrats have shown little interest in that law, a federal judge agreed Trump should be given a chance to fight such a request if lawmakers ever change their mind.
“A status conference would shed light on whether and how this case should proceed,” the filing says.