Justice Department Says Congress Can’t Force IRS To Provide Trump’s Tax Returns

“Under the facts and circumstances, the Secretary of the Treasury reasonably and correctly concluded that the Committee’s asserted interest in reviewing the Internal Revenue Service’s audits of presidential returns was pretextual and that its true aim was to make the President’s tax returns public, which is not a legitimate legislative purpose,” the Office of Legal Counsel said in the memo.

Democrats in Congress have argued that viewing Mr. Trump’s tax returns has legitimate legislative purpose in that it would reveal the financial dealings of the president and potential ethical issues. Neal threatened to sue the Treasury Department for refusing to respond to the subpoena.

However, while members of Congress may face an uphill battle in obtaining Mr. Trump’s federal tax returns, they could have more luck with his New York state tax returns. The New York state legislature passed a measure in May to allow the leaders of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation to access any New York state tax returns filed by elected officials and top appointed officials. 

Paula Reid contributed to this report.

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