Trump Tax Documents Must Be Turned Over To Congress, Court Rules

Trump Tax Documents Must Be Turned Over To Congress, Court Rules

President Donald Trump's accounting firm must honor a subpoena and turn over eight years of tax records to Congress, an appeals court ruled on Friday.

The 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit moves House Democrats closer to accessing records that would shed light on Trump's business interests and how he built his fortune. That appearance is precisely why the Supreme Court would rather rehash Roe than get involved in any way, but it seems highly likely that Trump would get the requisite four votes for a grant of cert when he appeals this ruling.

The House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, for the documents, but the president's legal team argued that their investigation served no legislative goal.

And the president had sued the House committee in April, arguing unsuccessfully that investigating his personal finances from years predating his time in office goes beyond the constitutional powers of Congress.

It's worth noting for context that one of the jurists on the three-judge panel was appointed by Trump, and wouldn't you know it, Judge Neomi Rao sided with the president.

Judge Tatel and Judge Patricia Millett, an Obama appointee, said the House's regular investigative powers are strong enough to demand the most private information from the president.

This report contains material from The Associated Press and Reuters.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have been on a hunt for Trump's tax returns since he bucked decades of tradition when he refused to release them during the 2016 election cycle.

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The billionaire regularly claimed not to be able to release his returns due to being under audit, which in fact would not preclude their release.

Slices of such information have since been made public by the media. Mr Trump also is in court trying to stop the Manhattan District Attorney from obtaining his tax returns.

The three-judge panel said Mazars doesn't have to comply with the House subpoena right away, granting a 7-day reprieve while Trump's lawyers file their next inevitable appeal.

Trump now is asking the 2nd Circuit to block another subpoena for his corporate and personal income tax returns that was issued by a state grand jury in New York City. A federal judge in Manhattan ordered Mazars to comply with the subpoena, but Trump has appealed.

Though the court's decision was split, the case is widely considered to be a tough one for Trump, even with support from the Justice Department.

Commenting on Twitter on possible outcomes from Friday's ruling in the Mazars case, the Republican consultant and never-Trumper Rick Wilson counselled caution.

Trump has denied having sex with either woman. Although acknowledging that the Committee is pursuing a "valid legislative inquiry", the dissent insists that the Mazars subpoena is nonetheless invalid because it "seeks to investigate individual suspicions of criminality against the President", an inquiry that "may be pursued only through impeachment".

The administrative stay will only be in place while the court reviews the case, and it's unclear how that will resolve.

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