U.S. Supreme Court

Chief justice blocks turnover of Trump's tax returns to congressional committee

  • Print

tax return

Image from Shutterstock.

Former President Donald Trump has obtained a temporary stay blocking the turnover of his tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Chief Justice John Roberts granted the stay Tuesday in response to an emergency application filed by Trump’s lawyers the previous day.

Lawyers for Trump had argued that allowing his tax returns to be turned over based on the committee’s purported reason—that it wants the returns to review the presidential audit process—will “hamstring” presidents in future demands for information.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had ruled in August that the committee could obtain the returns because it identified a legitimate legislative purpose, and its request did not impose an excessive burden. The D.C. Circuit declined to reconsider its ruling last week.

If allowed to stand, the D.C. Circuit decision “will undermine the separation of powers and render the office of the presidency vulnerable to invasive information demands from political opponents in the legislative branch,” according to the stay application.

Trump maintains that the committee’s actual reason for seeking the tax returns “has nothing to do with funding or staffing issues at the IRS and everything to do with releasing the president’s tax information to the public.”

The emergency application asked the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay blocking the turnover of the returns pending action on an upcoming cert petition. In the alternative, the application said, the Supreme Court could construe the emergency application as a cert petition and grant review.

Hat tip to Law360, the National Law Journal and CNN, which had coverage of the grant of a stay.

Publications with coverage of the stay request include the Associated Press, the Washington Post, SCOTUSblog and the New York Times, which had coverage of the stay request.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Treasury must provide Congress with Trump’s tax returns, Justice Department says in legal opinion”

ABAJournal.com: “Did publication of Donald Trump’s tax return information violate the law?”

ABAJournal.com: “Trump sues niece for disclosing his tax records and the New York Times for encouraging it”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.