WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump on Monday asked the Supreme Court to intervene in his long-running legal battle with the House Ways & Means Committee over access to years worth of his tax returns.
Trump’s request came to the nation’s highest court days after the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to reconsider an August ruling by a three-judge panel that unanimously sided with the House committee in the dispute.
The former president asked the Supreme Court to pause enforcement of the appeals court ruling so that he has time to submit a formal appeal of the decision to the high court.
“This case raises important questions about the separation of powers that will affect every future president,” Trump said in legal papers Monday. “The committee’s purpose in requesting President Trump’s tax returns has nothing to do with funding or staffing issues at the IRS and everything to do with releasing the president’s tax information to the public.”
The appeal is the latest in a series in recent days that have thrust deeply political questions onto the Supreme Court’s docket. Two high-profile Republicans – Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward – have asked the court to block subpoenas in investigations of efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
The House committee asked the Internal Revenue Service for Trump’s records in 2021 to help assess the IRS’ presidential audit program, a request the committee described as a “plainly legitimate area for congressional inquiry and possible legislation.” The Justice Department in July 2021 sided with the committee, saying that it “invoked sufficient reasons” for its request.
However, Trump and his lawyers have claimed that the request was meant to “single out” Trump because he is a “Republican and a political opponent.”
Time is running short for Democrats: If Republicans retake control of the House in the Nov. 8 midterm elections and the legal fight is not resolved by early next year, it is all but guaranteed that the incoming GOP House leadership would drop the request.
Contributing: Ella Lee
Story Credit: usatoday.com