Donald Trump’s lawyers filed an appeal Wednesday to try to block the sending of the former US president’s tax returns to Democrats in Congress, arguing that he was targeted for purely political reasons.
“The lawsuits target President Trump because he is a Republican and a political opponent,” say his lawyers, speaking of “retaliation” in his argument presented in federal court in the capital, Washington.
Democrats, who control Congress, have been trying for years to obtain tax secrets from the 45th president of the United States, the first since the 1970s who always refused to publish his tax returns when the billionaire made his fortune a campaign argument.
In a possible big step forward for Democrats, the US Department of Justice on Friday ordered the Treasury to “provide this information” to a House committee.
The commission, in charge of tax affairs (“Ways and Means”), asks for six years of tax returns before Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House in 2017. It claims to want to study how US tax authorities. (IRS) control the finances of the presidents.
An argument rejected by Donald Trump’s lawyers. “While House Democrats presented myriad justifications for obtaining the president’s tax returns, no one at the time mentioned a desire to find out how the IRS audited presidents,” they write. “The lawsuits are designed specifically for, and in practice will only affect President Trump,” they emphasize.
The Justice Department made this argument Friday, writing that it was “possible that some congressional officials expected” Donald Trump’s tax returns to be “released only to embarrass him.” However, he considered that these motivations would not allow invalidating the commission’s request because “it obviously serves legitimate legislative objectives.”
Just before the presidential elections in November 2020, the New York Times had published a survey based on 20 years of tax data on the former real estate mogul and his group.
According to the newspaper, he paid only $ 750 in federal taxes in 2016, the year he was elected, and nothing in ten of the previous fifteen years, reporting more losses than gains. Donald Trump had denounced “false information” and claimed to have “paid a lot of taxes” without giving further details.