Former President Donald Trump is firing back at the Department of Justice after it ordered him to turn his tax returns over to Democrats in Congress, calling the Democrats’ fight to get his tax information a political move to retaliate against him.
The DOJ in late July ruled that Trump’s personal and business tax returns must be released to the Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee as it has requested.
On Wednesday, Aug. 4, Trump’s lawyers filed a motion in federal court, alleging the House Democrats’ requests to obtain Trump’s tax returns are not “valid oversight requests” and blasting their push as a political attempt to harm the former president¸ NPR reported.
“The primary purpose of the requests is to obtain and expose Intervenors’ information for the sake of exposure, to improperly conduct law enforcement, or some other impermissible goal—not to study federal legislation,” the motion reads.
“The requests are not pertinent to legislation that is within the Committee’s jurisdiction and constitutionally valid,” the 37-page filing states.
The lawyers claimed that the Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal’s (D-Mass.) efforts are political, with a purpose “to expose the private tax information of one individual—President Trump—for political gain.”
“The requests are tailored to, and in practical operation will affect, only President Trump,” the lawyers said in the motion. “The requests single out President Trump because he is a Republican and a political opponent. They were made to retaliate against President Trump because of his policy positions, his political beliefs, and his protected speech, including the positions he took during the 2016 and 2020 campaigns.”
“Chairman Neal’s requests have always been a transparent effort by one political party to harass an official from the other party because they dislike his politics and speech,” they said, adding that the Democrat chairman sought Trump’s tax returns and return information “because his party had recently gained control of the House, President Trump was (and is) their political opponent, and they want to use the information to damage him politically.”
The former president’s move comes after the DOJ, under the Biden administration, last week said the Treasury Department is required to turn over the former president’s tax returns to the House Democrats, saying that they had “sufficient” legislative reasons for the information.
Under the Trump administration, the Treasury Department refused such a request. The Department of Justice at that time said that refusal did not violate the law, ruling in 2019 that Neal’s committee was “disingenuous about its true objective” in seeking Trump’s returns, asserting Neal appeared prepared to “expose” the documents if they were obtained.
Trump is the first major-party president in more than 40 years not to release his tax returns. But IRS would have intervened in it if they had found Trump had any problems with taxes, even before he was a presidential candidate.