Trump’s tax returns: Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily puts on hold release of records to Congress
Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily agreed put on hold a lower court order requiring the release of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service to a Democratic-led House committee.
The tax returns are set to go to the House Ways and Means Committee later this week.
Roberts requested a response by November 10.
The “administrative stay” is temporary in nature and does not always reflect the final disposition of the dispute. It’s a move often made when a deadline approaches to preserve the status quo and give justices more time to act.
In a flurry of emergency petitions related to Trump in recent days, the justice with jurisdiction over the lower courts decided to issue such a temporary relief.
Justice Elena Kagan, for example issued such a stay on October 26 temporarily block a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attacks on the phone and text records of Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward.
Justice Clarence Thomas frozen an order on October 24 that requires the testimony of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham before a Georgia grand jury.
Roberts oversees the lower court that issued the order in the Trump IRS case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The congressional effort is to provide the House led by Democrats the most direct avenue to long-sought tax information.
Committee Chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, first sought tax returns from the IRS in 2019, and the IRS, under the Trump administration, initially resisted returning them. The case moved slowly until 2021, when, under the Biden administration, the Department of Justice changed its legal position and concluded that the IRS was obliged to respond to the committee’s request. A Trump-appointed judge ruled in favor of the House late last year and the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to overturn that decision, most recently with the court complete appeal that last week refused to take the case.
A separate legal case related to the House Oversight Committee’s search for Trump’s tax information from his accounting firm then ended in a settlement earlier this year, after a trip to the Supreme Court in 2020. In taking the dispute with the Ways and Means committee to the Supreme Court, Trump argues that lower courts have faced that 2020 case, known as Mazars.
This story has been updated with additional details.
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