A court allows a House committee to see Trump’s tax returns | International
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A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled in favor of a House of Representatives committee, which had requested to see the tax returns of former President Donald Trump. The ruling ends more than 19 months of dispute, since the House Ways and Means Committee requested in 2019 the disclosure of tax returns and the Republican tried to prevent it by all means, even once outside the House. White. This is a victory for the Democrats, requesting the documents, although it is expected that Trump’s legal team will appeal, either before the DC Circuit or even before the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where Washington is located, has ruled against the former president, holding that the committee’s request is justified as part of its legislative work. The judges believe that the petition does not violate “any principle of the separation of powers” and is not contrary to the Constitution, as the tycoon’s lawyers argued. It is the second setback in a few hours for Trump, after his Florida residence was raided by the FBI on Monday in search of secret official documents.
The three judges who make up the Columbia appeals court have agreed with House Democrats, who had initially requested five years of federal tax returns from Trump and several of his business entities in 2019, while he was still president. In 2021, after the relief at the White House, the committee returned to the fray with a renewed request for tax information signed by Democrat Richard Neal, who chairs the committee. The 33-page ruling rules out a vindictive political animus in the lawsuit: “While Congress may attempt to threaten the incumbent president with an intrusive solicitation after leaving office, each president assumes [el poder] knowing that he will be subject to the same laws as all other citizens once he is out of office, ”wrote Judge David Sentelle, in charge of drafting the sentence. “This is a feature of our democratic republic, not a mistake.”
“With great patience, we followed the court process and once again our position has been upheld by the courts,” Neal said in a statement. “I am pleased that this long-awaited opinion makes it clear that the law is on our side. When we receive the returns, we will begin monitoring the IRS’s mandatory presidential audit program.” In similar terms, the House committee spoke on the social network Twitter: “We hope to receive the requested tax returns and audit documents immediately.”
The ruling came after a district judge in December 2021 rejected Trump’s offer to deprive the committee of his testimony, ruling that the legislative interest outweighed any deference or special treatment to Trump as a former president. In July 2021, the Department of Justice had already determined that the IRS should hand over such data, which facilitated the possibility of its being made public, as the appellate court now confirms. In a separate case, a Manhattan appeals court ordered Trump in 2020 to turn over his tax returns to Cyrus Vance, on his Manhattan tax day, who was investigating the possible concealment of payments to two women to hush up extramarital sex, something that the Republican has always denied.
Trump was the first president in 40 years, since Gerald Ford, who did not publish his tax data because he wanted to keep details of his fortune and the activities of his family company, the Trump Organization, secret. It is precisely the family emporium that is subject to two investigations, one criminal and one civil, in New York, for an alleged makeup of the accounts to obtain credits under preferential conditions and tax relief.
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The aforementioned Ways and Means committee has broad powers, with direct powers over taxes, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as numerous programs, including Social Security, unemployment benefits or public insurance for the elderly Medicare. The committee’s ruling is known a few hours after an FBI search of the tycoon’s residence in Florida narrowed the judicial fence and cast new doubts on his political future. Trump’s crusade to prevent the disclosure of his tax data seems to have more and more numbered days.
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