[Ed. – This end-run is being couched as “congressional oversight” of an IRS audit program for presidents. There’s thus no reason why congressional oversight can’t be an excuse for Congress to look at everyone’s individual tax records, whenever Congress says it has “serious concerns” about how sections of the tax code are being administered.]
In a new legal opinion released Friday, the department concluded that the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked “sufficient” legislative reasons for access to the sensitive materials, including what the panel said were “serious concerns” about how the Internal Revenue Service is operating an audit program for presidents.
The ruling’s author, acting Assistant Attorney General Dawn Johnsen, pointed out that the move amounts to a reversal of a 2019 memo by the same office at the Justice Department, which was then under the Trump administration.
But the earlier opinion, Johnsen wrote, “failed to give due weight to Congress’s status as a co-equal branch of government with legitimate needs for information” to exercise its constitutional authorities.
The Justice Department said the Treasury Department “must furnish” the Trump tax materials to House lawmakers.