This comes after the US Department of Justice earlier this month revealed that the US Treasury had to provide a congressional panel with ex-President Trump’s tax returns.
US District Court Judge Amit Mehta issued a decision on Wednesday that will allow the House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee to have access to some of former President Donald Trump’s tax records.
The decision holds that Congress’s authority under the Foreign Emoluments Clause to conduct oversight of federal lease agreements authorizes the legislative branch of government to access Trump’s tax returns for 2017 and 2018.
“The Court holds that the Committee’s asserted legislative purpose of bolstering financial disclosure laws for Presidents and presidential candidates does not warrant disclosure of President Trump’s personal and corporate financial records,” Mehta said. “By contrast, the Committee’s other stated justifications for demanding President Trump’s personal and corporate financial records… do not implicate the same separation of powers concerns.”
The link to the court’s ruling is available online.
Earlier, the Democrat-controlled House Oversight Committee filed a lawsuit, saying that it needs the former president’s financial records to address “conflicts of interest” linked to future presidents.
Trump, for his part, challenged in court the DOJ’s order to turn his tax returns over to a House of Representatives committee. His lawyers said the House Ways and Means Committee lacked a legitimate basis for seeking his federal tax returns.
Trump was the first US president in 40 years to not release his tax returns, as well as other financial documents linked to his family company, the Trump Organization.