A federal judge on Tuesday rejected former US President Donald Trump’s attempt to prevent the Treasury Department from delivering copies of his tax returns to a committee of the country’s lower house.
The magistrate Trevor McFadden, of a federal court of the District of Columbia and appointed by Trump himself, considered that the request of the ex-president’s lawyers is “legally incorrect”, despite noting that the lawyers are right when they affirm that the Democrats want the copies of statements for political gain.
In early August, Trump’s lawyers asked the judge to prevent the Treasury Department from providing Congress with multiple copies of 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 Congressional Ways and Means Committee, whose Chairman, Richard Neal, requested them in 2019 to investigate possible acts of corruption. corruption of the then ruler.
The judge argued Tuesday that “it may not be correct or wise” to publish copies of Trump’s tax returns, but it is the right of the chairman of that legislative committee to do so.
Trump was the first American president since Gerald Ford (1974-1977) not to publish his tax return each year, a tradition that his predecessors saw as part of his duty of transparency and accountability to the people.
The former president refused to publish his tax returns on the grounds that they were subject to an audit by the US Internal Revenue Service (Treasury), although numerous legal experts assured that no rule prevented him from disclosing them if I would have liked.
The aforementioned congressional committee requested those records in 2019 to investigate the finances of the then-president and his possible conflicts of interest, but then-Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin refused to provide them.
That struggle unleashed litigation that is still active and that until January faced that committee with the Trump administration, while now it is being fought between Democratic legislators and the former president’s lawyers.
A year ago, the US 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.