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President Trump at the end of a rally to support Republican Senate candidates at Valdosta Regional Airport in Valdosta, Georgia on December 5, 2020. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

The Treasury Department "must" release former President Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, the Department of Justice said in a memo Friday.

The big picture: The DOJ memo comes after a long dispute between the committee, which first sought to obtain the former president's returns two years ago, and Trump, who fought to keep his finances private.

What they're saying: The DOJ said in a memo to the Treasury Department that the House committee provided a "legitimate legislative purpose" to gain access to Trump's returns.

  • "The statute at issue here is unambiguous: 'Upon written request' of the chairman of one of the three congressional tax committees, the Secretary 'shall furnish' the requested tax information to the Committee," the memo said.
  • "We conclude that the Secretary must comply with the Ways and Means Committee’s June 16, 2021 request pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6103(f)(1) to furnish the Committee with the specified tax returns and related tax information," per the memo.
  • It is unclear if Trump will attempt to block the release, per the Washington Post.

Go deeper

Jan. 6 panel to seek criminal charges after Bannon defies subpoena

Steve Bannon. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the Jan. 6 select committee on Thursday, paving the way for the House panel to seek criminal charges against him for defying a congressional subpoena.

Why it matters: It's the first major test for how the committee will respond to witnesses' refusal to cooperate, an obstacle that stalled countless Democratic investigations during the Trump era by triggering protracted legal battles.

Oct 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Merrick Garland faces first testimony before House Judiciary Committee

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland will testify before the House Judiciary Committee next Thursday, according to a notice of the oversight hearing obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: This will be the first time Garland has appeared before the panel. The hearing comes as the Justice Department faces a series of contentious issues, including enforcement of the Jan. 6 committee's subpoenas, the crackdown on Texas' new abortion law, the overflowing of migrants at the border, voting rights and more.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 15, 2021 - Economy & Business

Higher ed endowments surge from venture and private equity investments

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

College and university endowments are surging, thanks in large part to investments in venture capital and private equity.

Why it matters: Rich schools, which have elevated access to private alternatives, are getting richer.

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