The Supreme Court Tuesday ruled against former President Donald Trump, allowing a congressional committee access to copies of his tax returns, according to the Associated Press.
This comes following a court battle that has lasted three years in which Trump tried to block the release of his tax returns.
Trump set a precedent among recent presidents by not releasing his tax returns either in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election or when he was elected. He said this was because of an ongoing audit.
The Biden administration has said that federal law allows the Democratic-controlled Ways and Means Committee to scrutinize the tax returns of anyone who pays taxes, including the former president.
The House Ways and Means Committee initially requested Trump’s tax returns in 2019 in order to investigate an IRS audit as well as a tax compliance program. Steve Mnuchin, then-Treasury secretary, withheld the tax returns from Congress, arguing that Democrats wanted them for partisan reasons, resulting in the lawsuit.
President Joe Biden’s administration renewed the request for Trump’s tax returns as well as additional information from 2015 to 2020.
Lower courts said that the House committee has broad authority to obtain tax returns and rejected Trump’s claims that the committee was overreaching and only wanted the documents so they could be made public.
On November 1, Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked the congressional committee from gaining access to allow the court to weigh the legal issues raised by Trump’s lawyers and the counterarguments of the Biden administration and the House of Representatives.
On Tuesday, the court lifted Roberts’ order without comment. The court’s decision clears the way for the Democratically-controlled House Ways and Means Committee — with the Democrats having less than two months left in control of the House — six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses.
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement that the committee can now conduct the “oversight that we sought for the last three and a half years.”
Trump said on social media that the Supreme Court’s action created a “terrible precedent for future Presidents,” saying the court was “nothing more than a political body, with our country paying the price. Why would anybody be surprised that the Supreme Court has ruled against me, they always do!”
Previously, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office obtained portions of Trump’s business and tax records as part of a criminal investigation. That case also had to be decided by the Supreme Court, which rejected Trump’s argument that he had broad immunity as president.
Trump recently announced he will run for president again in 2024, as reported by The Dallas Express.