The Supreme Court will allow a congressional committee to receive copies of former president Donald Trump’s tax returns.
It brings to an end a messy three-year battle by the House ways and means committee to see the documents the former president has famously refused to release since his first run for the White House.
The Supreme Court rejected Trump’s plea for an order to block his tax returns from being handed out to the House committee. The Treasury Department wants to hand over six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses.
The court did not accompany its decision with any public comment.
The influential committee will continue to be led by a Democratic Party chair, Richard Neal (Mass.), until the new Congress is sworn in comes January.
In January, Republicans will take the majority by a slim margin and therefore will fill committee chairs. This marks the second loss for Trump at the Supreme Court in as many months, and his third loss this year.
In October, the Supreme Court refused to step into the legal fight surrounding the FBI search of Trump’s Florida estate Mar-a-Lago, in which hundreds of classified documents were found in his residence.
In January, the Supreme Court also refused to stop the National Archives from turning over documents to the special House committee dedicated to investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, violent insurrection on the Capitol by extremist supporters of Trump trying to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
In the dispute over his tax returns, the treasury department had refused to provide the records during Trump’s presidency.
But the Biden administration said federal law is clear that the committee has the right to examine any taxpayer’s return, including the president’s.
Lower courts agreed that the committee has broad authority to obtain tax returns and rejected Trump’s claims that it was overstepping and only wanted the documents so they could be made public.
The supreme court chief justice, John Roberts, imposed a temporary freeze on November 1 to allow the court to weigh the legal issues raised by Trump’s lawyers and the counterarguments of the administration and the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court then lifted the order.