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DOJ advises Biden administration to hand over Trump tax returns to Congress

Jul 30, 2021, 11:43 AM
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Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
(AP Photo/John Raoux)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Justice Department told the Treasury Department it “must” turn over former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The direction came in an opinion released Friday by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice to the executive branch. Both the House Ways and Means Committee first requested the tax returns more than two years ago. 

“The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President’s tax information.” Under the department’s interpretation of federal law, according to the opinion, “Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee.”

The opinion was released on the same day the House committee and the Treasury Department are expected to submit a court filing in the lawsuit that House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal brought in July 2019 seeking the tax returns. According to previous filings in the case, lawmakers and the Biden administration have been in discussion for several months as to how to move forward in the litigation.

“As I have maintained for years, the Committee’s case is very strong and the law is on our side. I am glad that the Department of Justice agrees and that we can move forward,” Neal said in a statement to CNN.

It is unclear whether Trump, who has intervened in the case in his personal capacity, will continue to fight the release of the returns in court. A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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DOJ advises Biden administration to hand over Trump tax returns to Congress