Donald Trump secured a massive legal victory against Joe Biden’s Department of Justice after a federal judge denied the DOJ’s attempt to hold the former president in contempt of court.
The DOJ had hoped to hold Trump in contempt over his refusal to provide documents marked as classified that stemmed from earlier proceedings last May. Former Trump advisor was successfully found to be in contempt last fall and Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago was subsequently raided in August during an unprecedented and frightening abuse of federal power to obtain some of the alleged documents.
As ABC wrote, the latest ruling denotes a huge legal victory in Democrats’ ongoing and relentless pursuits to tie up the former president in litigation by any means necessary.
The DOJ had urged the judge to hold Trump’s team in contempt over failure to fully comply with a May subpoena for documents with classified markings that was directed to Trump’s custodian of records — a person the Trump legal team has not identified.
The proceedings were under seal and not public.
In response to the latest court ruling, a Trump spokesperson noted that his client wants to be “transparent and cooperative” despite the constant weaponization of federal power to engage in a “corrupt witch-hunt.”
“The President and his counsel will continue to be transparent and cooperative, even in the face of the highly weaponized and corrupt witch-hunt from the Department of ‘Justice,’” spokesperson Steven Cheung said.
He continued: “If the Department of ‘Justice’ can go after President Trump, they will surely come after any American who they disagree with. President Trump is the only one who stands in the way of the un-American weaponization of law enforcement.”
Axios provided more context to the story, writing that despite not being held in contempt, Trump’s efforts to keep his private records away from various House committees remains in doubt. It still appears likely countless documents will be handed over.
“The denial allows Trump’s tax returns to be released to the House Ways and Means Committee, which has been attempting for years to obtain them from the Internal Revenue Service as part of its investigation into the service’s presidential audit program,” the outlet reported. “Tuesday’s order, which was unsigned and included no dissent, vacates a temporary hold Chief Justice John Roberts placed on the documents earlier this month.”
“Trump, who has been fighting for years to block the release of his tax returns, requested the high court weigh in after a federal appeals court also declined one of his requests to block the release of the documents. Lawyers for Trump have argued that the committee does not have a legitimate legislative purpose for the documents and seeks only to publish them. The Department of Justice under the Biden administration argued in a 2021 opinion that the committee’s request was legitimate and the Trump-era Treasury Department had no valid reason to refuse it,” Axios added.
In a separate statement released by outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the octogenarian representative ignored the issue of contempt and focused solely on “receiving and reviewing” Trump’s records.
“The House looks forward to promptly receiving and reviewing these documents,” she said. “These documents are vital to meeting the House’s Constitutional mandate: guarding the public interest, defending our national security, and holding our public officials to account. Congress must enact legislation requiring Presidents and candidates for President to disclose their tax returns.”
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