Trump's lawyers must get 72-hour warning if Treasury turns over president's tax returns to Democrats: judge

Updated: 2021-01-23 11:10:20

The U.S. Treasury Department must grant former ’s lawyers a 72-hour warning if it allows his returns to be released to Democrats, a judge ruled Friday, according to a report.

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is still seeking the returns after he was refused access to them in 2019 by then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who claimed Democrats didn’t have a "legitimate legislative purpose" for the request, Politico reported.

Neal had cited a law that requires the Treasury to turn over tax documents at the request of House tax committees.

Democrats sued in federal court in a case that is still pending a year and a half later.

Washington, D.C., District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, put the two-week order in place because the Treasury Department could reverse course under the new administration.

He also ordered both sides to give a status report on Feb. 3.

The nomination of 's Treasury secretary pick, former Federal Reserve boss , was unanimously approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Friday and now heads to the full Senate for a vote Monday. 

Douglas Letter, general counsel for the House, told McFadden in the hearing that Treasury has a "clear legal obligation" to turn over the documents that Democrats still want even though he’s out of office, according to . "Our feeling is enough is enough. The statute is clear," he said. 

It’s unclear if the Treasury Department under Biden will allow the House access to the returns.

Democrats and the district attorney of New York City are also seeking his tax returns in separate cases.

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