Appeals court clears way for IRS to turn over Trump tax returns to House committee


The House Ways and Means Committee is set to receive former President Donald Trump’s IRS tax returns in one week after a federal appeals court on Thursday declined Trump’s request to hold up the release.

The Supreme Court could still intervene if Trump appeals.

A three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided they won’t put the handover of the former president’s tax returns on hold after the full appeals court rejected Trump’s request that they review an earlier decision allowing for the release of the returns.

The case is one of several long-running lawsuits where the Democratic-led House is trying to access years of financial records related to Trump, especially his tax returns.

Attorneys for Trump handling the case didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The committee chairman, Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, said in a statement that Trump “tried to delay the inevitable, but once again, the Court has affirmed the strength of our position.”

“We’ve waited long enough – we must begin our oversight of the IRS’s mandatory presidential audit program as soon as possible,” Neal added.

In August, a three-judge DC Circuit Court of Appeals panel signed off on the committee’s request to obtain Trump’s tax returns from the IRS. Trump later appealed to the full DC Circuit, saying the court had made “made several errors” in its ruling in favor of the House.

“The decision here will control future disputes between Congress and the Executive – including those of sitting Presidents – almost all of which arise in this circuit,” Trump said.

Following Thursday’s DC Circuit decision, former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Shan Wu told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” that the ruling is significant in that it breaks down legal norms surrounding the presidency.

“What’s really significant is this is a gradual whittling away at this kind of no-fly zone that’s developed around the presidency,” Wu said. “Congress can strengthen its oversight ability if the courts are saying, ‘yeah, this is legitimate oversight. ‘ And it actually offers the Supreme Court a chance to rebalance things here.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

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Jorge Oliveira

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