Former United States President Donald Trump doesn’t like the idea of sending his tax returns to Congress. So now he has filed a court petition in a bid to prevent lawmakers from examining how the Internal Revenue Service audits Presidents.
Lawyers representing the former president insisted that Congress doesn’t wield the power to investigate individual citizens, adding that it can not even compel personal, confidential information the way law enforcement agencies do.
Part of Trump’s court pleadings also sought an order for the Ways and Means Committee “to end all ongoing examinations” of Trump and his companies.
However, the committee cited a federal law compelling the Treasury Department and that of the IRS to turn over individual tax returns in the event any of the three congressional tax committees would ask for it.
During his presidency, Trump had always declined to provide the documents and insisted that Congress doesn’t have a legitimate law-making agenda. He then argued that Congress just wanted to embarrass him.
Trump, who had the Office of Legal Counsel by his side, however, found himself in an awkward position following a reversal of its 2019 stance. Just over last week, the Office of Legal Counsel said that the earlier conclusion failed to give a coordinate branch of government the “respect and deference” it was due.
Trump’s legal team further hinted in its petition filed before a federal court in Washington that the legal authority invoked by Congress has never been used against a president, a former president or any elected official.
“While House Democrats had offered countless justifications for obtaining the president’s tax returns, no one at the time had ever mentioned a desire to find out how the IRS audits presidents,” lawyers representing the former president said.
The committee chairman’s request for Trump’s tax returns “bore little resemblance to an effort to investigate how the IRS audits presidents. It asked for the information of only one president, asked for open files for which audits have not been completed, and never asked the IRS for the most relevant information — namely, how it audits presidents,” the legal team further stated.
The Committee on Ways and Means first sought for Trump’s tax returns covering his personal and businesses in 2019 and now again this year.