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With Trump out of office, the Biden administration decides if Congress can have the ex-president's tax returns

Business Insider logo Business Insider 1/23/2021 (Charles Davis)
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump's taxes could soon be in the hands of House Democrats. Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images © Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images Donald Trump's taxes could soon be in the hands of House Democrats. Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images
  • A US judge on Friday gave the Biden administration two weeks to decide on a position in a lawsuit over Donald Trump's tax returns.
  • House Democrats sued to obtain the records.
  • A lawyer for House Democrats said they are issuing another subpoena to obtain Trump's taxes.
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The Biden administration has been given two weeks to decide whether or not to drop the previous administration's opposition to releasing Donald Trump's tax returns, The Washington Post reported.

In 2019, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee sued to obtain the former president's IRS filings. On Friday, the US judge in the case, Trevor McFadden, elected to give the new president's team some time to reconsider what government lawyers will argue in the case.

A key objection to handing over the returns was that it would violate the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government. With Trump no longer president, this no longer applies, the Post noted.

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"It would be a former president trying to stop a political branch, rather than one branch suing another. At least that's my instinct," McFadden said Friday.

A spokesperson for the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax issues, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In September, The New York Times obtained some of Trump's tax returns, revealing that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017.

Last summer the US Supreme Court ruled that Trump could not stop New York investigators from issuing subpoenas for his tax returns and other financial documents. Prosecutors there are investigating the former president's business empire and whether it broke state law.

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