US Appeal court sides with House in fight over Donald Trump tax returns

WASHINGTON : A  federal appeals court in Washington has ruled that the US House Ways and Means Committee can use federal law to gain access to the tax returns of Ex-President Donald Trump. 

Following a long-running legal battle, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on Tuesday that committee chairman Richard Neal could obtain Trump's private documents from the Treasury Department, according to reports.

The former President claimed Neal and Democrats intended to use the returns against him politically or try to increase IRS oversight of the presidency in violation of the separation of powers. The former President intervened after the Joe Biden administration announced it would comply with the request.

However, the D.C. Circuit court opined that they could only evaluate what Neal had said in his written request and could not consider what other members of Congress had said about what they may do with Trump's tax returns if they received them.
Senior Judge David B. Sentelle's judgment notes that it is irrelevant that certain members of Congress may have political as well as legislative reasons.

In fact, it is probably uncommon for a member of Congress to strive for a legislative goal without taking the political ramifications into account. The committee said that in order to properly evaluate tax administration, particularly the programme that mandates presidential returns be audited, it was necessary to have the returns. The choice was made after years of legal battles to obtain Trump's tax returns in accordance with a 1976 legislation granting congressional committees the authority to examine specific returns.

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