A federal judge on Tuesday questioned the prosecution of a House committee of President TrumpDonald Trump House Freedom Caucus Elects Rep. Scott Perry as New President Meadows ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ with Trump, Jan. 6 Panel On The Money – Biden Closes Infrastructure Week MORETax returns.
During a hearing in a long-running lawsuit by the House Ways and Means Committee, US District Judge Trevor McFadden appeared concerned about allowing the panel to obtain Trump’s personal records.
During an exchange, he questioned the Justice Department attorney for the Biden administration about the agency’s reversal in the case.
“If Congress changes hands in a couple of years here, and a Republican Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee asks for Hunter Biden’s tax returns, are we just going to say, ‘Oh yeah. Congress. They said they’re interested in legislating on presidential families, therefore, we have to turn them in. Will that be the administration’s position? “McFadden said.
The judge indicated that he is also dealing with comments made by the chairman of the committee, Rep. Richard NealRichard Edmund Neal Democrats disagree with SALT changes 0.3 percent investment, able to make a difference in elder abuse prevention Democratic leaders increase pressure on holdouts of Biden’s agenda MORE (D-Mass.) And other Democrats on looking for tax returns that suggest “something else is going on” other than a valid legislative purpose.
It is unclear how McFadden could fail the case or whether he believes the Democrats’ various political comments on the tax returns would outweigh any valid purpose of the request.
The case has progressed slowly in the more than two years since the committee sued the IRS to obtain the tax returns in July 2019.
The Justice Department reversed its judicial position this year, saying the committee has the right to obtain tax returns under a law that requires the IRS to provide such records to the Ways and Means Committee upon request.
Trump’s lawyers filed a new complaint in August, seeking to prevent the Biden administration from complying with the committee’s request. They argue that the committee does not have a valid legislative purpose for the tax returns and that the request is only intended to be an attack on the former president.
“The requests are tailored and, in practice, will affect only President Trump,” the document reads. “The requests point to President Trump because he is a Republican and a political opponent. They were made to retaliate against President Trump because of his political positions, his political beliefs and his protected speech, including the positions he took during the years 2016 and 2020 . bells “.
The committee has held that tax returns are important because Trump’s “actions and statements raised serious and unprecedented concerns about his tax compliance and foreign entanglements and about the ability of the IRS to enforce tax laws against him while he was president. “.
“Compared to previous presidents, Trump’s returns appear to be excessively large and complex, reflecting his extensive domestic and international business activities, raising the question of whether the IRS has the resources and authority to examine such returns. with the efficiency necessary for a president, “the committee’s lawyers said in a court document last month.
“And he repeatedly attacked the IRS and its audits while he was a presidential candidate and while he was president, raising the important question of whether IRS employees are adequately protected from the president’s attempts to improperly influence their audits.”
It is unclear when McFadden could rule on the case. In the months since he left office, Trump has continued his various legal battles against Congressional investigations into him and his administration.
On November 30, a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in the former president’s lawsuit that seeks to prevent the Jan. 6 House Select Committee from obtaining extensive internal records from his White House.