RELEASE: Former President Trump’s Attempted Obstruction Takes Another Big Hit In D.C. Circuit Tax Case
WASHINGTON, DC – Following a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today, finding that the Department of the Treasury must comply with the House Committee on Ways and Means’ request to produce former President Trump’s and his businesses’ tax returns, Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:
While today’s ruling took far too long in coming, it marks an important victory for congressional oversight. The court today was clear: Congress has broad oversight authority, and no one is above the law. President Trump has been fighting to keep the House from seeing these records for years, and this is another affirmation that neither law nor history is on his side.
As we rightly celebrate today’s victory, we should not lose sight of how long it took to get here. It has been over three years since this lawsuit was filed, and the long delay in getting to this point is inexcusable. As CAC’s Vice President Praveen Fernandes testified last year to the House Judiciary Committee, one solution to such delays is for Congress to establish a pathway for expedited review of oversight disputes in the federal courts. Congress could provide for a three-judge panel and appellate review that is both streamlined and expedited, and it could clarify that this pathway would govern regardless of any other statutory schemes implicated by its subpoenas.
Congress’s exercise of its legislative power is informed by the results of its exercise of its investigative power. In order for Congress to do its job effectively, it must not only receive the information to which it is constitutionally entitled, but receive it in a timely manner.
CAC case page in Committee on Ways & Means, U.S. House of Representatives v. U.S. Dep’t of the Treasury: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/committee-on-ways-means-v-treasury/
Testimony of CAC Vice President Fernandes to House Judiciary Committee Hearing on “Civil Enforcement of Congressional Authorities,” June 8, 2021: https://www.theusconstitution.org/testimony/hearing-on-civil-enforcement-of-congressional-authorities/
CAC ISSUE BRIEF: The Historical and Legal Basis for the Exercise of Congressional Oversight Authority,” by Brianne Gorod, Ashwin Phatak, and Brian Frazelle, January 30, 2019: https://www.theusconstitution.org/think_tank/issue-brief-the-historical-and-legal-basis-for-the-exercise-of-congressional-oversight-authority/
Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.