Federal judge dismisses lawsuit by Trump seeking to prevent House from releasing his tax returns

The Trump-appointed judge said the former president is "wrong on the law."

December 14, 2021, 8:13 PM

A Trump-appointed judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the former president that was seeking to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from publishing his tax returns.

D.C. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden wrote in his opinion Tuesday that the former president is "wrong on the law."

"A long line of Supreme Court cases requires great deference to facially valid congressional inquiries," McFadden wrote. "Even the special solicitude accorded former Presidents does not alter the outcome. The Court will therefore dismiss this case."

Former President Donald Trump's Treasury Department initially declined to turn over his tax returns for the congressional probe, prompting Richie Neal, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to sue for them in 2019.

PHOTO: Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in New York on Oct. 18, 2021.
Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in New York on Oct. 18, 2021.
James Devaney/Getty Images, FILE

With a new administration, the new Office of Legal Counsel issued a new opinion stating that the Congressional Committee can in fact publish the tax returns.

The decision late Tuesday night was in response to a counter claim brought by the former president in his personal capacity.

"It might not be right or wise to publish the returns, but it is the Chairman's right to do so," Judge McFadden wrote. "Congress has granted him this extraordinary power, and courts are loath to second guess congressional motives or duly enacted statutes."

The judge gave the parties 14 days to appeal the ruling.

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