President Trump and eight of his companies filed a motion on Wednesday to intervene in House Democrats’ lawsuit for his tax returns, using a personal attorney to attempt to enter the case.
Trump and his companies argued in the filing that his “interest” in the case is “well established” because he has an interest in “maintaining the confidentiality of documents they submitted to a government agency.”
House Democrats are suing to force Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to comply with a provision in the tax code that mandates that the Treasury Department and the IRS supply the tax returns of any filer upon request to the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), the House Ways and Means chair, requested Trump’s personal and business returns in April. After a subpoena and repeated denials of the request, the House sued for the tax information.
Trump, for his part, has played an unprecedented game of hardball in various bids to stop any investigation of his finances. The same attorney who filed the motion to intervene, William Consovoy, earlier sent a threatening letter to the IRS saying it would be violating the law if it complied with Neal’s request. He’s also representing Trump in two separate lawsuits that seek to stop the fulfillment of Congressional subpoenas for the President’s financial information.
In the motion, Consovoy cited “taxpayers’ interest in preventing the disclosure of their confidential tax information” as a reason for intervening in the case.
He went on to argue that Trump needs personal representation — and not that of the Justice Department, which is defending in the case — because “a private party’s interest ‘cannot be subsumed within the shared interest of the citizens.'”
The filing also states that Trump and his businesses are intervening “to join the parties’ inevitable dispute about whether the Committee’s request has a legitimate legislative purpose.”
Neal laid out a meticulous case to establish a legislative purpose for the request, though the statute does not mandate that Congress be contemplating legislation in order for the request to be fulfilled.
D.C. federal judge Trevor McFadden is overseeing the case.
Read the motion to intervene here: