Washington, Dec 14 (EFE).- A federal judge on Tuesday rejected former United States president Donald Trump’s attempt to prevent the Treasury Department from turning over his tax returns to the Lower House of Congress.
In his ruling, District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, considered the former leader “wrong on the law,” and acknowledged his argument that the Democrats wanted the statements for political reasons.
However, “even the special solicitude accorded former Presidents does not alter the outcome. The Court will therefore dismiss this case,” he said.
In early August, Trump’s lawyers asked the judge to prevent the Treasury Department from providing Congress with his tax returns.
That request came nearly a week after the Justice Department gave the Treasury the green light to turn over Trump’s financial records to the House Committee on Ways and Means, whose chairman Richard Neal requested them in 2019 to investigate possible acts of corruption of the then-leader.
The judge argued Tuesday that “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,” McFadden concluded.
Trump was the first American president since Gerald Ford not to publish his tax returns, a tradition that his predecessors saw as part of their duty of transparency and accountability to the public.
The former president refused to release them on the grounds that they were subject to an audit by the Internal Revenue Service, although numerous legal experts said that no rule prevented him from disclosing them if he wished.
The committee requested those records in 2019 to investigate the president’s finances and possible conflicts of interest, but then-treasury secretary and Republican Steven Mnuchin refused to release them. The battle unleashed litigation that is ongoing.
A year ago, the Supreme Court ordered Trump to turn over his tax returns to a prosecutor investigating his finances in New York, but did not rule on the congressional request. EFE