The Justice Department ordered Treasury on Friday to turn over former Presiden Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, which first requested them more than two years ago.
‘The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President’s tax information,’ read the opinion from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel.
Trump has long fought requests by the Democratically-controlled congressional committee to gain access to his financial information.
The opinion noted the request for Trump’s taxes ‘would further the Committee’s principal stated objective of assessing the IRS’s presidential audit program—a plainly legitimate area for congressional inquiry.’
‘Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee,’ it read.
Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, the chairman of the committee, first sent a request for six years of Trump’s personal business tax returns Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig in April 2019. The IRS is part of the Treasury Department.
In his request, Neal said his committee had the responsibility of ensuring elected officials complied with the nation’s tax laws. The Ways and Means committee is the tax-writing body in Congress.
Then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wouldn’t turn over the tax returns because he concluded they were being sought by Democrats who control the House of Representatives for partisan reasons.
Trump also defeated congressional attempts in court.
It’s unclear if Trump will try and fight this ruling.
Trump, unlike previous presidential nominees, declined to release his tax returns during the election, saying he was the subject of an IRS audit.
The decision comes more than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court said that Trump’s tax returns and other financial records had to be turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who is conducting a separate investigation into Trump’s business practices.