The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a request from former President Donald Trump to block the release of his tax returns to a House committee.
The high court on Tuesday denied the request without explanation or noted dissents. The decision came after Trump’s lawyers asked Chief Justice John Roberts late last month in a 31-page filing to press pause on the issue until they could formally appeal a lower-court decision, perhaps in an attempt to push the years-long dispute into a new, and likely more Trump-aligned, Congress.
“If allowed to stand, it will undermine the separation of powers and render the office of the Presidency vulnerable to invasive information demands from political opponents in the legislative branch,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in last month’s filing to Roberts.
Editorial Cartoons on Donald Trump
In legal proceedings that have outlasted Trump’s time in office, the House Ways and Means Committee first brought the case against the Treasury Department in 2019, after seeking the tax documents under an IRS provision that allows the committee to obtain tax information for legitimate legislative purposes. A lower court ruled last year that the documents could be disclosed to Congress, but Trump appealed the ruling.
A federal appeals court panel rejected that appeal in August, allowing the tax documents to be sent to the House committee in a major blow to Trump, who has for years been fighting the release of his personal financial information, determining that the request from the House committee does not exceed Congress’ investigative authority or violate the separation of powers, like Trump’s lawyers had argued. Last month, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined a request from Trump to reconsider its decision.
“No Congress has ever wielded its legislative powers to demand a President’s tax returns,” Trump’s lawyers wrote to Roberts last month, adding that “left unreviewed, the D.C. Circuit’s decision will have far-reaching implications.”
The development comes as the Supreme Court has recently turned down a couple of requests from individuals in Trump’s orbit to block subpoenas requesting information related to their involvement in the former president’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.