On Thursday, the US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit declined Trump’s request to reconsider an August ruling that the House Ways and Means Committee can obtain his tax returns from 2015 to 2020. (For those of you keeping up at home, that would include two of the years that he paid just $750 in federal incomes taxes, and one of the years he paid nothing.) The committee has been trying to acquire the records since 2019; while Trump was in office, his Treasury Department unsurprisingly refused to turn them over. And when he was out of office, Trump sued to prevent Joe Biden’s from doing so, claiming the committee was going after the documents for political purposes. In August, the appeals panel disagreed, concluding the lawmakers had “a legitimate legislative purpose” in examining the returns, and on Thursday, the full court agreed.
The case is one of several long-running lawsuits where the House is trying to access years of financial records related to Trump, especially his tax returns.
Attorneys for Trump handling the case didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Following Thursday’s DC Circuit decision, former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Shan Wu told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” that the ruling is significant in that it breaks down legal norms surrounding the presidency.
“What’s really significant is this is a gradual whittling away at this kind of no-fly zone that’s developed around the presidency,” Wu said. “Congress can strengthen its oversight ability if the courts are saying, ‘yeah, this is legitimate oversight.’ And it actually offers the Supreme Court a chance to rebalance things here.”