Justice Department Says Trump's Tax Returns Should Be Released

By The Hill
Posted on 07/30/21 | News Source: The Hill

The Justice Department on Friday said the Treasury Department must turn over former President Trump’s long-sought tax returns to the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee.

In a memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), acting Assistant Attorney General Dawn Johnsen said the Treasury Department was required to defer to the congressional committee.

“The statute at issue here is unambiguous: ‘Upon written request’ of the chairman of one of the three congressional tax committees, the Secretary ‘shall furnish’ the requested tax information to the Committee,” Johnsen wrote in the 39-page memo.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) first requested Trump’s personal and business tax returns, and related IRS documents, in 2019. He also subpoenaed former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnunchin and the head of the IRS to secure their release.

The Trump administration refused to comply with the request and subpoenas, prompting the committee to file a lawsuit.

The OLC memo comes on the same day that a court filing is due in the lawsuit. The committee and the Biden administration had been having discussions for several months about the case and said in a filing earlier this month that they would tell the court by July 30 whether they had reached an agreement.

The OLC memo notes that in June, Neal sent Treasury an updated request for Trump’s tax returns, with the new request seeking documents for 2015 to 2021 as opposed to 2013 to 2018 in the initial request.