(PresidentialInsider.com)- Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers said earlier this week that they plan on appealing the ruling of a federal judge that allowed the Treasury Department to disclose the former president’s tax returns to a House panel that’s been trying to gain access to them for more than two years.
The initial case was brought during the Trump administration by Richard Neal, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Trump’s Treasury Department refused to turn those records over, but President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has taken a different stance.
Back in July, the Office of Legal Counsel at the DOJ released an opinion that said the Treasury Department had to turn over Trump’s records. That opinion read:
“The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons requesting the former President’s tax information.”
The DOJ’s interpretation of the federal law was that, “Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee.”
On Tuesday, Trevor McFadden, a district judge who Trump appointed to his post, granted the requests from the House and the DOJ to dismiss the case that Trump brought against them, seeking to block his tax records from being handed over.
In making his ruling, though, McFadden put his opinion on a hold for 14 days, which will give Trump’s legal team the chance to appeal the ruling.
Following the ruling, Neal commented:
“This ruling is no surprise. The law is clearly on the committee’s side. I am pleased that we’re now one step closer to being able to conduct more thorough oversight of the IRS’s mandatory presidential audit program.”
In making his ruling, McFadden said Trump was “wrong on the law,” as a “long line of Supreme Court cases requires great deference to facially valid congressional inquiries.”
He continued to write:
“Even the special solicitude accorded former Presidents does not alter the outcome.”
Despite this decision that was unfavorable to Trump, McFadden did write that it may not be in the best interests of the country to actually release Trump’s tax returns — even if the House Ways and Means committee had the right to do so.
The judge wrote:
“It might not be right or wise to publish the returns, but it is the Chairman’s right to do so. Congress has granted him this extraordinary power, and courts are loath to second guess congressional motives or duly enacted statutes. The Court will not do so here and thus must dismiss this case.”
Since it first filed its lawsuit in 2019, the House Ways and Means committee believes Trump’s tax returns might “reveal hidden business entanglements raising tax law and other issues, including conflicts of interest, affecting proper execution of the former President’s responsibilities.
“An independent investigation might also show foreign financial influences on former President Trump that could inform relevant congressional legislation.”
The back-and-forth volley in court over these tax returns has been going on for two years now.