October 1, 2022

GIVING UP: Congress will get his tax returns as Trump and accounting firm drop appeals

GIVING UP: Congress will get his tax returns as Trump and accounting firm drop appeals

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Donald Trump just agreed to stop appealing a court’s order that he turn over his tax returns and financial records to Congress.

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After nearly 3.5 years, an agreement between the ex-President, his former accounting firm, Mazars, and the House Oversight Committee has finally been reached.

Counting all of their efforts, House Democrats have been trying to get Trump to turn over his taxes for a total of six years.

Owing to today’s accord, Mazars has agreed to release financial records, including tax returns, sought by the committee for nearly the last three and a half years.

Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said she was “pleased” that an agreement had been reached in a press release (embedded below):

“After facing years of delay tactics, the Committee has now reached an agreement with the former President and his accounting firm, Mazars USA, to obtain critical documents. These documents will inform the Committee’s efforts to get to the bottom of former President Trump’s egregious conduct and ensure that future presidents do not abuse their position of power for personal gain.”

In July 2020, the Supreme Court delivered a ruling in the case Trump v. Mazars, originally filed in 2019 after four subpoenas were issued for the financial records of Donald Trump, his children, and relevant businesses.

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Trump’s claims of privilege and separation of powers to keep his financial records out of the hands of Congress were shot down in Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion:

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We have held that the House has authority under the Constitution to issue subpoenas to assist it in carrying out its legislative responsibilities.

Inside that landmark opinion, the court cited a centuries-old case, United States v. Burr, which “established that Presidents may be subpoenaed during a federal criminal proceeding.” That is the infamous case against founding father Thomas Jefferson’s Vice President Aaron Burr, who was indicted for murder after killing Alexander Hamilton in the duel recently re-immortalized by the musical Hamilton.

This is not the first time Donald Trump’s personal financial information has been extracted from his accounting firm via a court order.

In August 2021, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ordered Mazars to “turn over documents related to the Trump Organization’s lease on the federal building that houses the Trump International Hotel in Washington [now a Waldorf Astoria property after its sale in May 2022] according to Bloomberg.

In addition, Trump was compelled by the judge to produce records that could shed light on whether Trump received gifts or compensation from foreign governments in violation of the Constitution’s so-called emoluments clauses.”

Six months later, the financial services firm severed its ties with ex-President Trump, sending a letter to Trump Organization Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Alan Garten saying, “We believe our advice to you to no longer rely upon those financial statements is appropriate.”

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This is a huge win for the House Oversight Committee in its investigation and could be helpful in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ probe into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization’s alleged financial manipulations.

With many of the former President’s legal advisors under criminal investigation themselves, it may be time for Trump to stop fighting the inevitable and accept his fate.

Here’s a copy of the press release: 

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter  @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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