The Department of Justice on Friday directed the United States Department of the Treasury to turn over former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to the House Way and Means Committee.
“The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President’s tax information,” the opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel reads. “Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee.”
“The statute at issue here is unambiguous: ‘Upon written request’ of the chairman of one of the three congressional tax committees, the Secretary ‘shall furnish’ the requested tax information to the Committee,” Dawn Johnsen, acting Assistant Attorney General, wrote.
“Applying the proper degree of deference due the Committee, we believe that there is ample basis to conclude that its June 2021 Request for former President Trump’s tax information would further the Committee’s principal stated objective of assessing the IRS’s presidential audit program—a plainly legitimate area for congressional inquiry and possible legislation,” Johnsen wrote.
Once the committee receives the tax returns, they will review the documents in a closed session. Richard Neal, House Ways and Means Committee Chair, requested the former President’s tax returns in 2019. The Trump administration fought not to release the request documents. The committee wants to see who President Trump did business with and how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits Presidents.
Last year, a New York Times report revealed that President Trump only paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017.
“Today, the Biden Administration has delivered a victory from the rule of law, as it respects the public interest by complying with Chairman Neal’s request for Donald Trump’s tax returns. As Speaker, on behalf of the House of Representatives, I applaud Chairman Neal for his dignified pursuit of the truth and the Biden Administration Department of Justice for its respect for the law,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
“Access to former President Trump’s tax returns is a matter of national security. The American people deserve to know the facts of his troubling conflicts of interest and undermining of our security and democracy as president.”
Washington D.C. Federal Judge, Trevor McFadden, ordered the Biden administration to give President Trump’s lawyer a 72-hour notice before submitted any of his tax information to the Committee.