In a memo released Friday, the Department of Justice said the Treasury Department must hand over the tax returns of Former President Donald Trump to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The 39-page memo is signed by Dawn Johnsen, the acting head of the Biden Administration DOJ’s legal counsel office. The memo said Ways and Means chairman U.S. Representative Richard Neal “has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President’s tax information”.
The committee said it needed Trump’s taxes for an investigation into whether he complied with tax law. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump claimed he could not release his taxes due to an IRS audit.
While Trump was president, then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wouldn’t turn over the tax returns. He said they were being sought by Democrats for partisan reasons.
Trump’s Justice Department defended Mnuchin’s refusal. Trump himself also intervened to try to prevent the materials from being turned over to Congress.
The committee sued for the records under a federal law that says the Internal Revenue Service “shall furnish” the returns of any taxpayer to a handful of top lawmakers.
Under a court order from January, Trump will have 72 hours to object after the Biden administration formally changes the government’s position in the lawsuit.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the tax returns remain of interest to lawmakers. “Access to former President Trump’s tax returns is a matter of national security,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know the facts of his troubling conflicts of interest and undermining of our security and democracy as president.”
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has already gotten his hands on copies of Trump’s personal and business tax records as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Trump tried to prevent his accountants from handing over the documents. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where justices rejected Trump’s argument saying he had broad immunity as president.