Former President Donald Trump is again turning to the US Supreme Court, this time asking them to step in and exempt them from submitting their tax returns to a Congressional committee.
In an emergency appeal filed Monday, Trump asked the court to at least temporarily suspend documents released by the Treasury Department to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Lower courts have ruled that the commission has the power to obtain the documents, and rejected Trump’s claims that they exceeded their authority.
The former president recently asked the Supreme Court to intervene in a dispute over the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. The court rejected that request.
If Trump can persuade the court to intervene in the matter, he could postpone the final decision until the start of the next legislative period in January. And if Republicans take control of the lower house in November’s elections, they could drop the request for documents.
The commission and its chief, Democrat Richard Neill, initially requested the documents in 2019 as part of an investigation into an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit of taxes ordered by Trump.
Under federal law, the IRS can issue civil tax returns to a small group of top legislators.
During the Trump administration, the Justice Department defended then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision not to release the document to Congress. Mnuchin argued that he was entitled to withdraw the documents because, he said, Democrats wanted them for political reasons. As a result a case was registered.
Once Joe Biden is sworn in, the commission will review the request, requesting Trump’s tax returns and other data from 2015-2020. The White House took the stance that this was a valid request and that the Treasury Department had no choice but to comply. Trump then went to court to try to stop the delivery.
Then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. obtained copies of Trump’s documents as part of the criminal investigation. That case also ended in the Supreme Court, which rejected Trump’s argument that he had immunity.