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Justice Decides Against Trump on Tax Returns

Barring another twist, House panel will receive copies of the documents
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 30, 2021 2:47 PM CDT
Justice Decides Against Trump on Tax Returns
Former President Trump, shown speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas this month, has fought to keep his tax returns from a House committee.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(Newser) – The Justice Department, in a reversal, says the Treasury Department must provide the House Ways and Means Committee with former President Trump's tax returns, apparently ending a long legal showdown over the records. In a memo dated Friday, the Office of Legal Counsel said the committee chairman "has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President's tax information" and that under federal law, "Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee." The 39-page memo is signed by Dawn Johnsen, installed by the Biden administration as the acting head of the legal counsel office, the AP reports. During the Trump administration, 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.

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The committee sued for the records under a federal law that says the Internal Revenue Service "shall furnish" the returns of any taxpayer to a handful of top lawmakers. The committee said it needed Trump's taxes for an investigation into whether he complied with tax law. Trump's Justice Department defended Mnuchin's refusal, and Trump intervened to try to prevent the materials from being turned over to Congress. Under a court order from January, Trump would have 72 hours to object after the Biden administration formally changes the government's position in the lawsuit. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. already has obtained copies of Trump's personal and business tax records as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. Trump took the issue to the Supreme Court, which rejected his argument that he had broad immunity as president.

(Read more Trump tax return stories.)

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