A US federal appeals court has ruled that Donald Trump must hand over his tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 on Tuesday against Trump, who has spent years trying to prevent any release of the documents to investigators. He may still try to draw out the process with an appeal to the Supreme Court.

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The appeals court’s ruling, written by Circuit Judge David Sentelle, said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal’s request is within the scope of his committee’s inquiry into the Internal Revenue Service’s Presidential audit powers. It rejected Trump’s argument that the request had a retaliatory motive.

While it is possible that Congress may attempt to threaten the sitting President with an invasive request after leaving office, every President takes office knowing that he will be subject to the same laws as all other citizens upon leaving office. This is a feature of our democratic republic, not a bug….In this case, the need for the Trump Parties’ information to inform potential legislation overrides the burden to the Executive Branch largely because that burden is so tenuous.

Sentelle was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the bench. Judge Karen Henderson, a George H.W. Bush appointee, and Robert Wilkins, an Obama appointee, concurred in the ruling. Henderson added there should be more scrutiny about the implications for the Presidency.

Neal, who filed the lawsuit in 2019, reacted to the decision:

With great patience, we followed the judicial process, and yet again, our position has been affirmed by the Courts. 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.