A Trump-appointed federal judge asked Democrats if they truly wanted to set the precedent of allowing Congress to view personal records of presidents or their family, warning a future Congress might be seeking to probe a Democrat or his family.
“If Congress changes hands in a couple years here and a Republican chairman of the Ways and Means Committee asks for Hunter Biden’s tax returns, are we just going to say, ‘Oh, sure. You know, we’ve got to defer to Congress. They’ve said they’re interested in legislating on presidential families, therefore we’ve got to turn them over,'” U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden asked President Joe Biden’s Justice Department lawyer on a hearing from a lawsuit in the House Ways and Means Committee seeking to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
“Is that going to be the administration’s position?”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Democrats on the committee have made comments that suggest “there’s something else going on” than a valid legislative purpose, McFadden said, The Hill reported.
Neal’s committee sued the IRS for the Trump tax returns in July 2019, months after Democrats took control of Congress after the 2018 midterms. Then, when Biden’s Justice Department took over, it changed its position on law and required the IRS to turn the documents over.
Trump’s lawyers are arguing the politicized flop when in power exposes the fact there is no true legislative purpose for searching the past president’s personal financial records other than was required by law.
“The requests are tailored to, and in practical operation will affect, only President Trump,” the filing reads, The Hill reported. “The requests single out President Trump because he is a Republican and a political opponent. They were made to retaliate against President Trump because of his policy positions, his political beliefs, and his protected speech, including the positions he took during the 2016 and 2020 campaigns.”
The committee’s lawsuit claims Trump’s tax returns remain pertinent because his businesses might reveal foreign connections and, since they are large, does the IRS have the resources to fully investigate a president, and are they free from undo pressure from conducting an audit of a president’s large tax returns.
A federal appeals court is slated to hear Nov. 30 oral arguments on Trump’s attempt to claim executive privilege on documents and communications sought on subpoena by the House Jan. 6 Select Committee searching far and wide for any potential wrongdoing on behalf of the former president, his administration, or campaign advisers.