It is finally here. After five years of negotiations, the Supreme Court cleared Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats’ access to Donald Trump’s tax returns on Tuesday.
My colleague reported that Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court granted an “administrative” temporary stay to Trump’s request to block a House committee from obtaining Trump’s returns. This was not a decision on Trump’s merits, but a temporary “administrative” stay while SCOTUS reviewed the request.
According to NBC News, Tuesday’s rejection by Trump of his last-ditch request to block the release to House Democrats of his tax records opened the door to their disclosure to the legislators. This is the brief order:
The request for a stay of the mandate, which was presented to The Chief Justice by him and referred to the court, is denied. The order previously entered by The Chief Justice has been vacated.
In 2019, the case was officially launched when Trump’s tax returns were refused by the Treasury Department to be turned over to House Democrats. They claimed there was no reason to release them. Richard Neal, D-Mass., Ways and Means Chair. At the time, he argued that Trump’s returns were important to the committee in order to determine if tax law as it relates to presidents should change.
More information is available at NBC:
Trump, unlike previous presidents, refused tax returns to be made public amid extensive scrutiny of his business activities. He turned to the justices when an appeals court in Washington declined to intervene. Similar requests by Trump were recently denied by the court.
The lawyers for the former president disputed the assertion of the House Ways and Means Committee that it required information to investigate how the IRS audits presidents. They said it was not up to scrutiny.
House Democrats and the Biden administration urged the court not to grant Trump’s request. They claimed that their demand for tax documents was validly legislative.
Now, the Democrat-controlled committee has a narrow window to get Trump’s tax information from Treasury Department. This is because Republicans will regain control of the majority starting January 3. The GOP has a slim chance of allowing the inquiry, also known as Trump’s “witch hunt”, to continue.
This is still a developing story that we will update as more information becomes available.