Supreme Court dismisses Trump's request, clearing the way for House Democrats to obtain his tax returns
The Supreme Court rejected Trump's request to withhold his tax records from Congress.
The order clears the way for House Democrats to obtain his returns.
The legal battle dates back to 2019 when Democrats first requested Trump's tax returns.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed former President Donald Trump's bid to block the release of his tax returns to Congress, clearing the way for House Democrats to review his records in their final weeks in the lower chamber's majority.
The court's order, which had no recorded dissents or explanation, denied Trump's emergency request to prevent the Treasury Department from handing six years of his tax returns to the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee. Democrats still control the House until January, when Republicans, who won a narrow majority in the midterm elections, will take over.
The years-long battle dates back to April 2019, when committee Chairman Richard Neal asked the Internal Revenue Service for Trump's tax returns and those of his companies as part of an investigation into the agency's auditing process. Trump had broken with tradition when he refused to publicly release his tax returns as a presidential candidate in 2016, saying that he was under audit, although records can still be released then.
According to federal law, the committee's chair has the authority to request any taxpayer's records, but the Trump administration refused to turn over the records, prompting the legal fight. Trump's team has long claimed that the committee lacks a legitimate reason to obtain his returns and that its request is politically motivated.
Under President Joe Biden's administration, the back-and-forth continued, culminating in a federal district court ruling that the committee was authorized to obtain Trump's records. A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit affirmed that ruling in August.
Trump then turned to the full appeals court, but his request was rejected, so he asked the Supreme Court to intervene. Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily halted the release of Trump's records as the justices considered the issue, but ultimately dismissed the emergency appeal on Tuesday.
"We knew the strength of our case, we stayed the course, followed the advice of counsel, and finally, our case has been affirmed by the highest court in the land," Neal said in a statement following the Supreme Court's order. "Since the Magna Carta, the principle of oversight has been upheld, and today is no different. This rises above politics, and the Committee will now conduct the oversight that we've sought for the last three and a half years."
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