House Democrats are still clamoring to see former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, though he has now left office.
It is still unclear when or if the Treasury Department will turn over Trump’s tax records. But in a move that favors Trump, a federal judge has imposed a stipulation on doing so.
Judge Trevor McFadden, who presides over the the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled last week that the Treasury Department must provide Trump’s attorneys with at least 72 hours notice before releasing the documents, the Washington Examiner reported Friday.
McFadden, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, said that his order will remain in effect for two weeks. According to Politico, the judge also ordered that attorneys from both sides of the case issue a status report by February 3.
That decision represents the latest development in a years-long legal fight between the former president and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA).
The fight for Trump’s taxes
“It is critical to ensure the accountability of our government and elected officials,” Politico quoted the Massachusetts Democrat as saying in March of 2019.
“To maintain trust in our democracy, the American people must be assured that their government is operating properly, as laws intend.”
The website noted that Trump rejected Neal’s request on the grounds that he was the subject of an audit by the IRS, saying, “Until such time as I am not under audit, I will not be doing that, thank you.”
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who serves as the Ways and Means Committee’s senior Republican, complained that the push by Neal amounted to a bad faith move.
“Weaponizing our nation’s tax code by targeting political foes sets a dangerous precedent and weakens Americans privacy right,” Brady said in a letter to then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin which was cited by Politico.
“All Americans have a fundamental right to the privacy of the personal information found in their tax returns,” the Texas congressman went on to add.
Neal isn’t the only one that wants to see Trump’s tax information. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. has been fighting to gain access to them as well.