A federal judge has ruled that multiple tax records belonging to former President Donald Trump must be turned over to Congress.
U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta approved a subpoena Wednesday from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and said Trump’s tax records from 2017-2018, currently in the hands of the accounting firm Mazars, must be turned over to Congress, Fox News has confirmed.
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Mehta declined the panel’s request for other tax records dating back to 2011.
Trump’s lawyers are expected to appeal the decision, and the House panel could also challenge aspects of the ruling.
“Due to its broad, invasive nature, the subpoena poses an appreciable risk to the separation of powers,” Mehta, an Obama-appointed judge, wrote in the 53-page ruling. “In the current polarized political climate, it is not difficult to imagine the incentives a Congress would have to threaten or influence a sitting President with a similarly robust subpoena, issued after he leaves office, in order to ‘aggrandize itself at the President’s expense’ … In the court’s view, this not-insignificant risk to the institution of the presidency outweighs the Committee’s incremental legislative need for the material subpoenaed from Mazars.”
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Democrat politicians and investigators across the country have been attempting to delve into the former president’s tax returns dating back to 2015, citing allegations of impropriety and potentially illegal action, while Trump has maintained an IRS audit prevents him from releasing many of his records.
Last year, Trump referred to a New York Times story claiming he has not paid federal income tax for 10 of the past 15 years as “totally made up.”
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“It’s fake news, it’s totally made up,” Trump said at the time. “Everything was wrong, they are so bad.”
Trump added, “I’ve paid a lot and I’ve paid a lot of state income taxes too,” he said.
Earlier this year, Forbes reported that Trump’s net worth is in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion.