Donald Trump has finally lost the battle to block Democrat-led House committees from obtaining his tax returns, setting up a deadlock of investigators with Democratic lawmakers to review them before the next Congress is sworn in.
The president had tried for years to protect his tax returns from disclosure to the House Ways and Means Committee, but on Tuesday he ironically saw a final defeat at the hands of the conservative majority he had installed himself in the country’s highest court.
The House members’ victory on Tuesday means Democratic lawmakers will have the rest of November and December to issue reports based on tax return findings before control of the committee is handed over to Republicans in January. Democrats will still be able to issue reports after that date, but they will not have committee powers to prosecute further documents or other evidence.
There were no recorded objections to the court’s decision. This is another staggering rebuke from the judges the president’s legal team thought they would rely on in 2020 when they tried to overturn the presidential election results.
Donald Trump’s taxes have been something of a conundrum for Democrats since 2015, when the first calls for the businessman and billionaire to detail how much he pays in federal and state taxes began as Trump sought the 2016 Republican presidency nomination. He would win the general election this year, all the while claiming he couldn’t reveal his tax returns as long as he was under IRS scrutiny.
This claim will be repeated throughout his presidency and the 2020 election, where Joe Biden and his campaign have largely dropped the issue as a major point of discussion amidst other more recent issues such as how to deal with the Covid pandemic.
Trump has never provided any factual evidence to support his claim that he has been scrutinized for many years and has long argued that Democratic fraud claims are baseless. His former attorney, Michael Cohen, would blow that claim away in 2019 when he appeared before the House Oversight Committee and was questioned by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about a scheme in which the former president allegedly overvalued and undervalued his estate. assets for tax and loan purposes, which is a criminal offence.
These practices fell under the purview of New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is currently pursuing a civil suit in an effort to prevent the Trump family from doing business in the state. Mr. Trump has not been publicly charged by federal law enforcement with any of the crimes described by his former “fixer” Mr. Cohen or others.