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Trump Tax Returns Must Be Given to Congress, Justice Dept. Says

  • August 01, 2021

Democrats in charge of the committee did not disclose their investigative plans. They have previously indicated that they intend to study the effectiveness of the I.R.S. audit program, including in reviewing possible conflicts of interest for Mr. Trump.

“As I have maintained for years, the committee’s case is very strong and the law is on our side,” Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said in a brief statement. “I am glad that the Department of Justice agrees and that we can move forward.”

Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Ronald P. Fischetti did not immediately return phone calls and emails seeking comment on Friday. Reached by phone, Phyllis A. Malgieri, Mr. Fischetti’s legal partner, said, “Knowing him for 32 years, the Italian in him, I’m sure he would have something to say” about the decision. Mr. Trump’s spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Mr. Trump’s son Eric Trump and his allies in Congress recoiled at the prospect of his political adversaries gaining access to six years of his personal and business tax data, as well as related I.R.S. files. They accused Mr. Neal and House Democrats of lying about their real intentions, which they claimed were to embarrass and cudgel Mr. Trump.

“Just more harassment … the weaponization of politics and evilness of the far left is hard to comprehend,” Eric Trump, who helps run the family business, wrote on Twitter.

Republicans on Capitol Hill also quickly derided the Justice Department’s opinion as “politically motivated.” They warned that it could usher in a new era of political warfare in which politicians rifled through the tax information of their opponents.

“If politicians in Congress can demand, and ultimately make public, the president’s private tax returns, what stops them from doing the same to others they view as a political enemy?” said Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.

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