Biden’s Justice Department says IRS ‘must’ hand over Trump tax returns to Congress
The Justice Department told the Treasury Department that it “must” turn over former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, which first requested them more than two years ago.
The direction came in an opinion released Friday by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice to the executive branch.
“The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President’s tax information.” Under the department’s interpretation of federal law, according to the opinion, “Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee.”
The opinion was released on the same day that the House committee and the Treasury Department are expected to submit a court filing in the lawsuit that House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal brought in July 2019 seeking the tax returns. According to previous filings in the case, lawmakers and the Biden administration have been in discussion for several months as to how to move forward in the litigation.
“As I have maintained for years, the Committee’s case is very strong and the law is on our side. I am glad that the Department of Justice agrees and that we can move forward,” Neal said in a statement to CNN.
The OLC opinion indicated that the House committee had again submitted with the Treasury Department a request for the returns in June of this year. That request, obtained by CNN, shows that the committee had shifted the scope of its investigation since it had originally requested the returns, with a new interest in understanding the “business entanglements” of the former president and how the IRS’ presidential audit program handled them.
The House panel now say tax returns could “reveal hidden business entanglements raising tax law and other issues, including conflicts of interest, affecting proper execution of the former President’s responsibilities.”
“An independent investigation might also show foreign financial influences on former President Trump that could inform relevant congressional legislation,” the new request said. It also shifted forward the years of returns the committee was seeking, to cover Trump’s time in office more squarely. The new request seeks the returns between 2015 and 2020.
It is unclear whether Trump, who has intervened in the case in his personal capacity, will continue to fight the release of the returns in court. A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
SOURCE ⇒ CNN
Consider supporting AMIBC™. Contribute by clicking on the advertisers and sponsors featured on AMIBC™ and please utilize them. Readers from around the world, like you, make our work possible. We need your support to deliver quality, vetted, investigative journalism – and to keep it open for everyone. At a time when factual, honest reporting is critical, your support is essential in protecting our editorial independence. The narratives and issues impacting all Americans is tantamount to the AMIBC™ platform. Every contribution, however big or small, is valuable for our future. Make sure to join the AMIBC Founders Club to maximize the total advantage of being a subscriber.