In a blow to Donald Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an attempt by the former president to prevent a congressional committee from obtaining his federal income tax returns.
The high court’s brief unsigned order—which contained no noted dissents—came less than a month after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily stopped the Internal Revenue Service from handing over six years of Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, which is set to receive six years of federal filings from the former president and his companies.
“This rises above politics, and the committee will now conduct the oversight that we’ve sought for the last three-and-a-half years,” said Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, after the court’s decision.
Democratic lawmakers say they need Trump’s tax returns as part of an effort to determine the effectiveness of annual presidential audits. Trump and his legal team contend that Democrats are seeking the documents in order to harm him politically.
House attorney Douglas Letter countered that “Trump owned a complex web of businesses, engaged in business activities internationally, had a history of aggressive tax avoidance (as he has boasted), claimed to be under ‘continuous audit’ since before his presidency, and repeatedly denounced IRS audits of him as ‘unfair.’”
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, tweeted: “We’ve been waiting 1,329 days for Trump’s tax returns, almost as long as the American Civil War.”
“At long last the Supreme Court has moved to end this farce,” he added. “Now let our committee get these documents. Let the sunlight in. Amen.”
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Brett Wilkins is staff writer for Common Dreams.