Dershowitz to Newsmax: Trump's Tax Returns Should Not Be Released Publicly (Newsmax/''Spicer & Co.'')
By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 15 December 2021 07:48 PM
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax on Wednesday that if the House committee seeking six years' worth of former President Donald Trump's income tax returns gets them, they should not be made public.
''This has nothing to do with privilege, or really the presidency. This has to do with any American. Every American has the right to keep their taxes secret and secure, and the courts have to do a balancing test,'' Dershowitz said on ''Spicer & Co.''
''If there is a serious need [to see them], if the need for the material outweighs the general presumption of privacy, then they can be submitted to [congressional] committees. [The] committees then have an obligation to keep them secret.''
A federal judge rejected Trump's legal challenge to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from getting the returns from the Treasury Department, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
District Judge Trevor McFadden ruled Tuesday that the returns are to be turned over to the committee, dismissing Trump's legal challenge, writing in a 45-page opinion that ''a long line of Supreme Court cases requires great deference to facially valid congressional inquiries.
''Even the special solicitude accorded former Presidents does not alter the outcome. The Court will therefore dismiss this case,'' the Post reported.
Lawyers for the former president said he would appeal the decision.
While McFadden cleared the way for the committee to get the returns, he also warned the committee that the documents should not be made public after it evaluates them.
''It might not be right or wise to publish the returns, but it is the Chairman's right to do so. Congress has granted him this extraordinary power, and courts are loath to second guess congressional motives or duly enacted statutes,'' McFadden's opinion said. ''Public disclosure of another's tax returns is a grave offense.''
He also warned the committee, which is led by Democrats, that such an outcome could ''return to plague the inventor'' if their political rivals win the majority.
Dershowitz agreed with that assessment and said that the Constitution must apply the same way to everyone, and not just the political side you agree with.
''It has nothing to do with President Trump,'' he said. ''It has everything to do with Mr. Donald Trump, taxpayer.''
Dershowitz said this is the problem these days in this country.
''That's the problem with America. People are so angry at one side or the other, they can't be fair,'' he said. ''And fairness can never take a back seat, and you can't compromise the Constitution just because you're angry at Trump, you're angry at [President Joe] Biden, or you're angry at me. We can be angry, but the Constitution has to be put first.''
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