A federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected former President Donald Trump's bid to block the IRS and Treasury Department from releasing his tax returns to a congressional committee.

“Even the special solicitude accorded former Presidents does not alter the outcome,” Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, wrote in a 45-page ruling. “The Court will therefore dismiss this case.”

The decision marks a victory for the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, which has sought the former president's tax records since mid-2019. At the time, the chairman sued then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to release more than six years of Trump's business and personal tax records.

McFadden stayed the execution of the ruling for two weeks to allow parties in the case to process their next steps, asking the executive branch to refrain from immediately providing the records to Neal's committee.

If the parties in the case don't reach an agreement within 14 days, Trump's lawyers will likely seek to appeal the ruling in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Trump's accountant previously turned over his tax records in February to the Manhattan district attorney's office, which he fought amid an investigation into several fraud allegations pertaining to the Trump Organization. Filings obtained by the DA contain millions of pages of documents related to Trump's tax returns from January 2011 to August 2019, including financial statements, agreements, and other documents relating to the preparation and review of tax returns. However, the likelihood they are ever seen by the public is slim due to grand jury secrecy rules.

In his ruling, McFadden appeared to discourage Neal from making Trump's tax information a matter of public record but conceded it was not his role to stop Congress from making that decision.

“Anyone can see that publishing confidential tax information of a political rival is the type of move that will return to plague the inventor,” the judge wrote. “It might not be right or wise to publish the returns, but it is the Chairman’s right to do so. Congress has granted him this extraordinary power, and courts are loath to second guess congressional motives or duly enacted statutes. The Court will not do so here and thus must dismiss this case.”

Trump's legal team argued the tax returns of former presidents and current presidents should be similarly protected from subpoenas by lawmakers, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling the former president's records a "matter of national security."

In August, Trump attorney Ronald Fischetti said there is "no evidence of any wrongdoing" by the former president, adding, "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."


The Washington Examiner contacted Fischetti and Chairman Neal's office but have not received a response.