Chief Justice John Roberts has blocked an appeals court decision to force former President Donald Trump to turn over his tax returns to Congress as part of an investigation.
The ruling is just a temporary stay that will remain in place until the high court hears Trump’s case and makes a final decision.
The House Ways and Means Committee has asked for six years’ worth of Trump’s returns to investigate IRS audit practices of presidents and vice presidents.
Trump’s petition to the Court read, “The Committee’s purpose in requesting President Trump’s tax returns has nothing to do with funding or staffing issues at the IRS and everything to do with releasing the President’s tax information to the public.”
The House has been trying to get its hands on the returns since 2019.
In August, a federal appeals court ruled against Trump and said the returns could be accessed.
On Thursday, Trump’s request to block the order was rejected by the DC Appeals Court, prompting his request to the Supreme Court.
The Democrat-led committee is seeking his returns from 2015 to 2020. Trump doesn’t trust the committee to keep the returns confidential, and he is probably right that one of his political enemies would leak them to damage him politically ahead of a likely 2024 bid to return to the White House.
Why won’t he release them?
Trump is the only president in the last four decades not to release his taxes publicly, but he is also the only billionaire, which he fears could make people look at him differently.
As a president and candidate, Trump comes off as more of a populist than a billionaire, and people seeing his taxes might think he is out of touch with the people if they saw his income and what he spends money on.
Another possible reason may be that Trump has inflated his wealth and doesn’t want people to know he has misled them.
We don’t really know because the taxes have remained private. And that’s how Trump wants them to stay.