“There is no evidence of any wrongdoing here and I object to the release of the returns not only on behalf of my client but on behalf of all future holders of the Office of the President of the United States,” Mr Trump’s attorney Ronald P Fischetti said on Monday.
Calling it “politicisation and harassment” of his client, Mr Fischetti said he had “never seen anything like this” in his legal career.
The ruling is the latest development in the more than a year-long fight by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to gain access to the returns for its investigation into the Trump Organisation.
“The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President’s tax information,” the DoJ opinion said. “[The] Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee.”
The 30 July order of DoJ is, however, a change of stance from its 2019 position when Mr Trump was in the Oval Office.
The Treasury Department had sought the DoJ’s opinion on whether it should comply with a request for the tax returns record from the House Ways and Means Committee. The department’s legal counsel had at the time opined that the Treasury was justified in not turning over the returns, following which the House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit, seeking disclosure of tax records.
The pending lawsuit, however, provides a window for Mr Trump’s legal team to argue against Justice Department’s order, deeming it as unlawful.
US district court judge Trevor McFadden, who is hearing the matter, has directed Mr Trump and House Committee to appear before him, explaining their view on how the case should proceed.
Additional reporting from the wires
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