Top US court clears way for Congress to receive Trump tax documents

The US Supreme Court allowed a House of Representatives committee Tuesday to obtain former President Donald Trump's tax returns.

The court's unsigned order ends a three-year battle between Trump and the House Ways and Means Committee in the final weeks of a Democratic-controlled chamber.

The two-sentence order does not note any dissents, saying only that Trump's application for a stay in the case has been denied. No reasoning was provided.

Trump defied long-established presidential tradition and refused to publicly release his tax documents when he assumed office. But Joe Biden resumed the practice after winning the 2020 presidential election.

The committee is seeking six years of Trump's tax returns as part of its investigation into how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits presidents. Trump's attorneys have said the effort to obtain the records is a thinly-veiled attempt at abusing congressional authority that will result in the ex-president's documents being leaked to the public.

Still, there are major questions over what exactly the committee will be able to do with the documents with just over a month to go before Republicans assume control of the House, and just weeks before Congress takes its winter break.

Trump's defeat is the second dealt by the top court in as many months, with the Supreme Court deciding in early October that it would not intervene in a legal dispute concerning government documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Trump sought to have a ruling from the 11th US Circuit of Appeals thrown out after the court ruled that an independent arbiter, known as a special master, cannot review more than 100 classified government records seized during the FBI's Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago. The special master was allowed to only review documents that did not bear government classification markings.

The Supreme Court's ruling marked a major victory for the Justice Department, which had asked the court to deny Trump's appeal.

Source: Anadolu Agency