Court Of Appeals Turns Its Back On Trump: Congress Can Access 8 Years Of Its Tax Returns

Since his time as a candidate and then as president, Trump did not publicly present his tax returns, contravening a political tradition in the United States in which candidates for public office report their assets and income.

The decision was taken in that room with a 2-1 vote and gives Congress broad powers to inquire into the documents. The judges categorized the legislators' request as "valid and enforceable" as well as relevant. Meanwhile, Trump's arguments – that the citation was invalid because Congress lacks "legitimate legislative purposes" for its requests – were indicated incorrect.

"Contrary to the President's arguments, the Committee has the authority both under the House Rules and the Constitution to issue a subpoena," wrote Judges David S. Tatel and Patricia A. Millett, both appointed by Democratic leaders: by Bill Clinton the first and by Barack Obama the second.

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The appeal that Trump lost this Friday was related to a decision in a minor court that allowed the House of Representatives Vigilance Committee to continue with his request for the financial statements and audits prepared by the Mazars USA company for Trump and his companies. This is the first major case at the level of an appeals court in the midst of the legal battle of Congress and the president for his tax returns.

The representatives had sought access to those records months before inquiries began to start an impeachment against the president for his conversation with the Ukrainian president to investigate one of his toughest rivals on the Democratic side, the candidate Joe Biden.

The only opposite vote in the decision announced this Friday was that of Judge Neomi Rao, appointed by Trump, who says that if the House of Representatives wants to investigate the president for the possible error in the management of his finances he must do so invoking his constitutional powers to an impeachment in this matter and not its regular supervisory powers.

"Throughout our history, Congress, the president, and the courts have insisted on maintaining the separation between the legislative and impeachment powers of the House of Representatives and recognized the gravity and responsibility that remain with an impeachment," he said. Rao "Allowing the Committee to issue this subpoena for legislative purposes would make Congress an itinerant inquisition on a co-egalitarian branch of government," he added.

For now it is unknown what steps President Trump will take to address this decision. So far, he has not reacted through his Twitter account, as he usually does.

A "unique and unprecedented" scandal: the protagonists of the controversial call that could bring Donald Trump to political trial (photos)
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