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On Friday the Justice Department confirmed that the Treasury Department must share former President Donald Trump’s income tax returns with Congress.
NBC News reports that the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel said in its 39-page opinion that "the executive branch must give due weight to Congress’s status as a co-equal branch of government" and also "apply a presumption that Legislative Branch officials act in good faith and in furtherance of legitimate objectives.”
The House Ways and Means Committee had been given “sufficient reasons” for requesting the release of Trump’s tax returns, despite repeated protests from Trump throughout his presidential campaigns and time in office. In 2019, the Office of Legal Counsel held a different view on the matter, stating that Congress did not have a legislative purpose to request the information.
The new opinion released on Friday, however, suggests that the 2019 finding “went astray.” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal added that he has said “for years” that “the committee’s case is very strong and the law is on our side. I am glad that the Department of Justice agrees and that we can move forward." He previously filed a lawsuit against the IRS and the Department of the Treasury in July 2019 in an effort to get access to Trump’s tax returns.