Trump tax returns: Chief Justice John Roberts puts records to Congress on hold for now


Chief Justice John Roberts agreed to temporarily set aside a lower court order requiring the IRS to release former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a Democratic-led House committee.

The tax returns are scheduled to go to the House Ways and Means Committee later this week.

Roberts asked for a response by Nov. 10.

The “Administrative Stay” is temporary and does not always reflect the final resolution of the dispute. It’s a move often taken as deadlines loom to preserve the status quo and give judges more time to act.

Judges with jurisdiction over lower courts have decided to issue such interim relief in a series of emergency petitions related to Trump in recent days.

Justice Elena Kagan, for example, issued such a stay order on October 26, temporarily blocking a subpoena of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, trial against Arizona Republican Chair Kelly The raids on Ward’s phone and text messages were recorded.

Justice Clarence Thomas on Oct. 24 froze an order requiring Republican senators to testify. Lindsey Graham before a Georgia grand jury.

Roberts oversees the lower court that issued the order in the Trump IRS case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The congressional effort is designed to provide the Democratic-led House of Representatives the most direct access to long-sought tax information.

Committee Chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, first requested tax returns from the IRS in 2019, which the Trump administration initially refused to turn over. The case moved slowly until 2021, when the Justice Department under a Biden administration changed its legal stance and concluded that the IRS was obligated to comply with the committee’s request. Late last year, a Trump-appointed judge ruled in favor of the House of Representatives, a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit declined to overturn, most recently last week when the full Court of Appeals declined to take up the case.

Following a trip to the Supreme Court in 2020, a separate legal case over the House Oversight Committee’s access to Trump’s tax information from the then-accounting firm ended in a settlement earlier this year. Taking the dispute with the Ways and Means Committee to the Supreme Court, Trump argued that the lower court clashed with the 2020 case, known as the Mazars.

“The Ways and Means Committee believes the law is on our side and will respond promptly as requested,” a panel spokesman said Tuesday. “Chairman Neal looks forward to a swift review by the Supreme Court.”

This story has been updated with more details.

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