The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for the possible release of former president Donald Trump’s tax returns.
The court rejected a plea by Trump’s lawyers to block the release of the documents, which have been requested by the House Ways and Means Committee.
The court’s unanimous decision was issued in a brief on Tuesday.
It’s not clear how quickly the documents, which were originally requested in 2019, will be released.
With Republicans set to take control of the House of Representatives in January, it’s not a guarantee the committee will continue with its probe.
Just over a week ago, the committee’s Chair Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., called on the U.S. Treasury Department to expand its probe of Trump’s use of the Internal Revenue Service to target political enemies.
“We knew the strength of our case, we stayed the course, followed the advice of counsel, and finally, our case has been affirmed by the highest court in the land. Since the Magna Carta, the principle of oversight has been upheld, and today is no different. This rises above politics, and the Committee will now conduct the oversight that we’ve sought for the last three and a half years,” Neal said in a statement on Tuesday, following the Supreme Court decision.
Lawyers for Trump filed a last ditch effort in late October, to keep his tax returns from the eyes of the committee. Trump had asked the high court to block the committee from uncovering his tax returns.
“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,” Trump’s lawyers argued at the time.
Trump has continually refused to make his tax returns public since he was first elected to the Oval Office, drawing public and political criticism.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris released their tax returns during their 2020 campaign. There is no law requiring the president or presidential candidates to release their tax returns, though it has become a custom.
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