Judge extends order requiring advance notice to Trump in tax returns case

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A federal judge on Wednesday extended an order that requires the Treasury Department to give former President Trump’s personal lawyers 72 hours notice before providing Trump’s tax returns to House Democrats.

Judge Trevor McFadden, a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., appointed by Trump, extended the notice requirement until March 3. The order had previously been set to last until Friday.

The extension of the notice requirement comes after the Biden administration said in a court filing on Wednesday that it needs more time to determine its position in the lawsuit over the House Ways and Means Committee’s request for Trump’s tax returns. The administration has not yet taken a position about whether it will comply with the request.

“Defendants require additional time to evaluate their position in this case, due to the still-ongoing transition to new leadership at the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Justice,” DOJ lawyers wrote in a court filing.

DOJ had requested that McFadden order the parties in the case to report back with an update on March 3. The department said would not oppose an extension of McFadden’s January order until then.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) in 2019 sent requests and subpoenas to Treasury and the IRS for six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. He cited a provision of the federal tax code that states that the Treasury Secretary “shall furnish” tax returns requested by the chairs Congress’s tax committees.

The Trump administration rejected these efforts, prompting the Ways and Means Committee to file a lawsuit against Treasury and the IRS that has yet to be resolved.

The panel said in Wednesday’s court filing that it still needs Trump’s tax returns “to further its ongoing investigation into Internal Revenue Service administration and policy.” 

Trump and his business entities are participating in the case as intervenors. Trump’s personal lawyers argued in Wednesday’s court filing that the former president is “entitled to some notice and opportunity to litigate before their return information is produced.”

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