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Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former President Trump's attorneys on Wednesday asked a federal judge to prevent the Treasury Department from releasing his tax returns to Congress, NBC News reports.

Driving the news: The Justice Department last week said the Treasury Department "must" release Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, finding that the committee had "invoked sufficient reasons" for requesting the documents.

  • Trump has been fighting the release of his tax returns to the panel for more than two years.
  • The documents have already been obtained by the Manhattan district attorney, which brought an indictment against the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO on tax-related charges in July.

What they're saying: Trump's lawyers argued the committee wants to obtain the tax returns to find something embarrassing, not to examine how the IRS audits presidents, per NBC News.

  • "While House Democrats had offered countless justifications for obtaining the president’s tax returns, no one at the time had ever mentioned a desire to find out how the IRS audits presidents," they said.
  • "The chairman’s request bore little resemblance to an effort to investigate how the IRS audits presidents. It asked for the information of only one president, asked for open files for which audits have not been completed, and never asked the IRS for the most relevant information — namely, how it audits presidents."

Go deeper

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.

Obama says Powell exemplified what America "can and should be"

Then-President Obama speaks alongside former Secretary of State Colin Powell during a meeting in the Oval Office in 2010. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called Colin Powell an "exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot" in a statement honoring the former general following his death from COVID-19 complications on Monday.

Why it matters: Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, was known as a Republican but played a critical role in helping Obama get elected in 2008.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.