Republicans, who secured a narrow House majority following the November 8 midterm elections, are poised to take over control of the committee in January.
Trump was the first president in four decades years not to release his tax returns as he sought to keep secret the details of his wealth and the activities of his real estate company, the Trump Organization.
The Ways and Means panel told the Supreme Court in a legal filing that siding with Trump would harm the constitutional authority of a coequal branch of government “by in effect preventing Congress from completing any investigation involving a former president whenever there are allegations that the investigation was politically motivated”.
The panel in its request invoked a federal law that empowers its chairman to request any person’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
House Democrats have said they need to see Trump’s tax returns to assess whether the IRS is properly auditing presidential returns and to gauge whether new legislation is needed.
In its filing, the committee told the justices that IRS policy “does not address what to do regarding a president who, like former president Trump, owned hundreds of business entities, had inordinately complex returns, used aggressive tax avoidance strategies and allegedly had ongoing audits”.
Trump’s lawyers have said the committee’s real aim is to publicly expose his tax returns and unearth politically damaging information about Trump.
US District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, sided with Congress in December 2021 and threw out the challenge to the committee’s request, finding that the committee holds broad authority over a former president’s tax returns.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in August also ruled against Trump and in October refused a rehearing.
The news is published by EMEA Tribune & SCMP