- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump‘s last-minute effort to shield his tax records from House Democrats, clearing the way for the disclosure to a congressional committee.

The court denied Mr. Trump‘s request without comment, which is typical on its emergency docket. No justices dissented.

It is unclear how quickly the House Ways and Means Committee will get the documents. Any delay by the Internal Revenue Service in handing over the tax records to Congress could be a victory for Mr. Trump because the Republicans take control of the House in January. Republicans are expected to withdraw the request upon assuming control of the committee.

Mr. Trump last month asked the high court to intervene in the long-running legal dispute, which dates back to 2019. Earlier this month, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. placed a temporary hold on the subpoena to give the court more time to consider the issue.

The House Ways and Means Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Richard E. Neal, Massachusetts Democrat, had requested six years of Mr. Trump‘s tax returns as part of an investigation into how the IRS audits presidents.

Mr. Trump has accused the committee of seeking the tax returns under false pretenses. His lawyers have argued that Democrats only want the tax returns to leak to the public and potentially damage his 2024 presidential campaign.

SEE ALSO: Appeals court to decide future of special master in Trump document case

A federal appeals court in August ruled that the tax returns should be handed over to the House committee. Mr. Trump then made his case to the D.C. Court of Appeals, which also rejected his request in a unanimous opinion.

At the center of the dispute is a federal tax law that directs the Treasury Department to provide taxpayer information requested by select congressional panels, including the Ways and Means Committee. It is one of the few exceptions to federal law mandating that tax records remain confidential.

Mr. Trump‘s lawyers have argued the law is unconstitutional, but it will stand since the Supreme Court opted not to weigh in on the matter.

Democrats have been clamoring for Mr. Trump‘s tax records since he broke precedent in 2016 by refusing to make his tax returns public.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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