Executive Branch

OLC Clears Way for Treasury to Release Trump’s Tax Returns

Ajay Sarma
Friday, July 30, 2021, 2:04 PM

The Office of Legal Counsel, contrary to the Trump Justice Department’s assertions, decided on Friday that the Treasury is obligated to provide Congress with the former president’s tax returns.

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On Friday, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) published an opinion confirming that the Department of the Treasury “must furnish” former President Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, as per the committee chairman’s request. The decisions of the OLC, which provides legal advice to the executive branch and its agencies, are typically considered binding. The opinion, issued by Acting Assistant Attorney General Dawn Johnsen, suggests that, while congressional committees must have a valid reason for requesting information from the executive branch, “officials must apply a presumption that Legislative Branch officials act in good faith and in furtherance of legitimate objectives.” The opinion characterizes the Ways and Means Committee’s reasoning as valid and part of Congress’s investigatory function.

You can read the full opinion here or below.

Ajay Sarma is a junior at Harvard College studying Social Studies. He is an intern at Lawfare.

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