Nearly four years after gaining the power to retrieve former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, the House Ways and Means Committee will vote Tuesday on whether to release them.
After Democrats retook the House, the panel took its time in the beginning to request Trump’s tax returns, carefully laying the groundwork for the request in public hearings throughout the spring of 2019.
The House Ways and Means Committee, one of the three Congressional panels empowered by law to request and retrieve the returns of any filer, then hit a concerted series of delays that involved the IRS, then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and, finally, a Trump-appointed D.C. district court judge who spent years overseeing the case before finally ruling in December 2021 that the panel could access the returns.
Trump appealed the case up the chain until the Supreme Court said last month that the Treasury Department could hand the records over to the Committee, lead by chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA).
The panel finally received what it requested — Trump’s returns and supporting documents — on Nov. 30. It will discuss in a closed-door meeting at 3 p.m. ET on whether to release the returns.
Under law, the panel could vote to release the records as is. They include 6 years of Trump’s personal filings and 8 years of his business filings. Trump was the first presidential candidate since Richard Nixon not to release his returns voluntarily.
The committee cited the reason why every President since Nixon has released the records in its arguments: the IRS was found to have given Nixon favorable treatment while in office, per a Congressional report released in the 1970s.