Trump Asks Federal Judge To Block IRS Handover Of Data To Democrats

( Former President Donald Trump is once again asking a federal judge to block his tax returns from being turned over the House of Representatives.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Trump asked a judge to block the IRS and Treasury Department from turning over his previous tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee in the House.

In the filing, the lawyers said Democrats have long considered the former president’s taxes to be the “white whale.” They believe that Representative Richard Neal, the chair of the committee, is only seeking the returns so he can find something embarrassing on Trump.

The representative has said thus far that he simply wants to examine how the IRS goes about auditing presidents.

When the Treasury Department refused to give them the returns while Trump was in the White House, the committee sued. Then, when President Joe Biden took office, they changed course and said they would provide the returns.

When that happened, the committee dismissed their lawsuit. That’s when Trump and his various companies stepped in, filing motions to stop the release.

In the most recent filing, the lawyers wrote:

“No one believes that Chairman Neal requested President Trump’s tax returns so he can study legislation about IRS audits. No one. Chairman Neal admits that this justification was a mere litigation strategy. His fellow Committee-Members don’t buy it either.

“Anyone who’s paid even minimal attention to American politics understands what’s happening here: President Trump did not voluntarily disclose his tax returns during the campaign, his political opponents assume the information would damage him, and so his opponents want to force the disclosure.”

The IRS has had a policy in place for quite some time that requires an audit of a president’s tax returns. It’s meant to remove responsibility from employees of trying to decide when an audit of a president was appropriate.

When the Ways and Means Committee made the request for the returns, it said it was “concerned about whether the IRS had the resources and safeguards to audit the returns of Mr. Trump and similar future presidents effectively.”

They also said they wanted to investigate if those audits were conducted independently, and without any attempts to influence them one way or the other. The committee then invoked a federal law requiring the IRS and Treasury Department to turn over any individual’s tax return if any of the congressional tax code-writing committees demands it.

But, the lawyers for Trump say that law isn’t constitutional. They argue the Constitution doesn’t give authority that is open-ended like that to any member of committee in Congress when they seek information. They further argued that Trump is still entitled to the same protections from a legal standpoint that he enjoyed while in the White House.

They argued in the motion:

“The committee’s request is effectively a request to a sitting president: it was issued while President Trump was in office, was continuously pursued, and has always been tied to his status as president.”