The House Ways and Means Committee can obtain former President Donald Trump's tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, a federal appeals court ruled 3-0 Tuesday.
"With great patience, we followed the judicial process, and yet again, our position has been affirmed by the Courts," Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement to USA TODAY. "I'm pleased that this long-anticipated opinion makes clear the law is on our side. When we receive the returns, we will begin our oversight of the IRS's mandatory presidential audit program."
Neal has sought Trump's tax returns since the middle of 2019.
On Twitter, the committee said it expects to receive the requested tax returns and audit files "immediately."
The House committee asked the Internal Revenue Service for Trump's records in 2021 to help assess the IRS' presidential audit program, a request the committee described as a "plainly legitimate area for congressional inquiry and possible legislation." The Justice Department in July 2021 sided with the committee, saying that "invoked sufficient reasons" for its request.
However, Trump and his lawyers have claimed that the request was meant to "single out" Trump because he is a "Republican and a political opponent."
Though the former president can appeal the ruling, his efforts to quash the request have largely failed. In December 2021, a federal judge he appointed to the bench rejected his arguments in the case.
"Even if the former president is right on the facts, he is wrong on the law," U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, who was nominated by Trump in 2017, wrote at the time.
Trump's lawyers contend that Congress is not seeking the tax returns of other presidents, but those records are already in the public domain. Trump was the first presidential candidate in modern times not to release his tax returns.
The contents of Trump's tax returns could contain potentially embarrassing information for the former president, USA TODAY previously reported.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House committee can obtain Trump's taxes from IRS, appeals court says