We haven’t heard much lately in the news cycle about former President Donald Trump’s taxes — what with all the other insanity that’s always surrounding him. However, just because those tax returns aren’t front and center in the media these days, doesn’t mean Donnie himself is any less panicked about them seeing the light of day.
A new report from Yahoo! News reveals that lawyers for the one-term, twice-impeached ex-president have now taken to all but begging a federal judge to block the Treasury Department and the IRS from handing over Donald Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The attorneys for Trump claim that the ex-president’s taxes have long been considered the “white whale” for Democrats.
Lawyers told the federal judge that the committee chairman, Rep. Richard Neal’s, reasoning behind seeking out the taxes, the ability to examine how the IRS audits presidents, is really only a ruse for their desire to search for something embarrassing against Donald Trump.
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Recently, the committee lodged a lawsuit against the Treasury Department when the Dept. refused to hand over the tax returns during the Trump administration. However, once President Biden took office, he reversed course and agreed to allow the tax returns to be turned over, resulting in the committee dismissing the lawsuit. However, Trump and his companies quickly stepped in, seeking to have the documents’ release blocked.
“No one believes that Chairman Neal requested President Trump’s tax returns so he can study legislation about IRS audits. No one. Chairman Neal admits that this justification was a mere litigation strategy. His fellow Committee-Members don’t buy it either,” lawyers for the ex-president claimed.
“Anyone who’s paid even minimal attention to American politics understands what’s happening here: President Trump did not voluntarily disclose his tax returns during the campaign, his political opponents assume the information would damage him, and so his opponents want to force the disclosure.”
The IRS has long required audits of a president’s tax returns. to prevent their employees from being put in a position where they would have to decide if an audit was necessary. The Ways and Means Committee said it was “concerned about whether the IRS had the resources and safeguards to audit the returns of Mr. Trump and similar future presidents effectively.”
They also allegedly wanted to determine if the audits were performed independently, without any attempts to influence them in any way.
“The committee’s request is effectively a request to a sitting president: it was issued while President Trump was in office, was continuously pursued, and has always been tied to his status as president,” the Trump attorneys stated, once again falling back on the ole executive privilege argument.
House lawyers have noted that their requests for the returns have hailed from a purely legal matter, but regardless, the federal courts have no power to question the motives of Congress to determine the validity of their acts under the Constitution.
When it comes to Trump’s supposed privilege as a former president, Congress asserts that those are only valid for sitting US presidents, not former ones.
You can read the full report from Yahoo! here.
Featured image via Political Tribune gallery