Judge: Treasury Department Must Tell Trump Before Releasing Tax Returns

January 23, 2021 Updated: January 23, 2021

A federal judge said Friday that the Treasury Department must give former President Donald Trump notice before releasing his tax returns to Congress.

District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, ruled that Trump must be given 72 hours notice, according to an order filed on the court docket.

Both parties were also ordered to file a joint status report on or before Feb. 3.

House Democrats are continuing to pursue the returns, even after Trump left office on Jan. 20. They and others failed to obtain them during Trump’s term, despite repeated attempts.

House lawyer Douglas Letter told the judge during a hearing on Friday that the House Ways and Means effort is still alive, while a lawyer for the Department of Justice said he wasn’t sure whether the Biden administration is opposed to releasing the returns, Politico reported.

Little progress in the case was made in recent months. The judge stayed the case on March 20, 2020, pending further orders from a court in a different case.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) sought six years of returns in 2019, but was turned down by the Trump administration, prompting a lawsuit. The Treasury Department later found that then-Secretary Steven Mnuchin acted properly in the matter.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters last year that Democrats would release Trump’s returns if Joe Biden won the 2020 election. Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20.

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