Trump loses appeal on keeping tax returns secret from Congress
Donald Trump delivering a speech at a campaign rally held at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Evan El-Amin /

A three-judge panel on Tuesday ruled that former President Donald Trump cannot stop Congress from obtaining his tax records.

While president, Trump's Department of Treasury refused to comply with a request from the House Ways and Means Committee for Trump's tax returns for 2013 to 2018.

But the Treasury Department reversed itself under President Joe Biden and said that the records would be turned over to Congress. Trump quickly asked a federal court to block the move.

Nearly a year later, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Congress has a right to receive the records.

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The 28-page ruling filed by Judge David Sentelle on Tuesday found that the House Ways and Means Committee had a genuine legislative purpose in requesting the tax records.

"The Trump Parties have failed to state a claim for the reason that they cannot show that Treasury’s decision to comply with the 2021 Request would not have happened absent a retaliatory motive," the ruling noted. "The statute provides that 'the Secretary shall furnish,' 26 U.S.C. § 6103(f)(1) (emphasis added), the requested information to the Committee upon written request. When the Committee makes a request that is within its authority to make, i.e., within Congress’s investigative power, the Secretary does not have a choice as to whether to provide the information."

The ruling added: "The 2021 Request seeks information that may inform the United States House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means as to the efficacy of the Presidential Audit Program, and therefore, was made in furtherance of a subject upon which legislation could be had."

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