The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns to a congressional committee, handing a defeat to the Republican former president who had called the Democratic-led panel’s request politically motivated.
The justices denied Trump’s Oct. 31 emergency application to block a lower court’s ruling that upheld a request by the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee for the tax records as a justified part of the panel’s legislative work while his lawyers prepared an appeal. No justice publicly dissented from the decision.
The fight over the committee’s request is one of many legal woes for Trump as he moves forward with another run for the presidency in 2024. Trump last week announced the launch of his candidacy.
Tuesday’s order superseded one issued by Chief Justice John Roberts on Nov. 1 that had effectively paused the dispute and prevented the panel from obtaining the Trump returns while the court considered how to proceed.
Trump was the first president in four decades years not to release his tax returns as he sought to keep secret the details of his wealth and the activities of his real estate company, the Trump Organization.
The Ways and Means panel told the Supreme Court in a legal filing that siding with Trump would harm the constitutional authority of a co-equal branch of government “by in effect preventing Congress from completing any investigation involving a former president whenever there are allegations that the investigation was politically motivated.