Former President Donald Trump lashed out at the U.S. Supreme Court over its woeful decision to allow his personal tax returns to be handed over to a Democrat-controlled congressional committee, saying it is the worst precedent for future presidents.
Following a Nov. 1 ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts that temporarily put the brakes on the release of Trump’s tax returns to the Democrats, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that those returns must be given to the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York Post reported.
“The application for stay of the mandate presented to the chief justice and by him referred to the Court is denied,” the court’s order said curtly. “The order heretofore entered by the chief justice is vacated.”
The Democrat-controlled committee has been trying to get Trump’s tax returns since 2016, when he declined to make them public during his campaign for president.
The panel claims to be investigating whether Trump used his office for personal enrichment. For instance, his hotels earned millions from foreign leaders visiting the U.S., and the committee imagines these are ill-gotten gains realized only because he was president.
Trump said he could not release his tax records because he was under an audit. But he had other reasons as well. The former president’s legal team said the committee should have a “legitimate legislative purpose” for requesting the tax returns, and it was not at all clear that the panel did.
Trump’s attorney, Cameron Norris, also argued that a forced handover would have “far-reaching implications” for future presidents.
“It will establish important (but incorrect) precedent for the political branches moving forward, binding in the circuit in which most conflicts over congressional demands for information must be litigated,” Norris wrote in a July 31 filing, according to the Post.
The former president blasted the high court for its latest decision in a post on his Truth Social platform, accusing it of losing its “honor” and “prestige.”
“Why would anybody be surprised that the Supreme Court has ruled against me, they always do! It is unprecedented to be handing over Tax Returns, & it creates terrible precedent for future Presidents. Has Joe Biden paid taxes on all of the money he made illegally from Hunter & beyond,” Trump wrote on Wednesday.
“The Supreme Court has lost its honor, prestige, and standing, & has become nothing more than a political body, with our Country paying the price. They refused to even look at the Election Hoax of 2020. Shame on them!” he said.
Trump added, “In the Supreme Court, the President of the United States does not have ‘standing’ over his own election, how ridiculous?”
The battle over his tax returns has been see-sawing back and forth for years and extends beyond congressional Democrats.
Last year, a New York prosecutor obtained copies of them after the Supreme Court shot down an earlier effort by Trump’s attorneys to prevent that.
The president and his legal team are clearly fearful that a forced handover of these records could be used as a partisan political weapon against future presidents.
And it seems fairly obvious that the various committees and state officials have been doing just that by trying to use Trump’s tax returns to destroy him for political reasons.