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Photo Illustration of Donald Trump (Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Photo Illustration of Donald Trump (Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

The Department of Justice has ruled that the Treasury Department must surrender former president Donald Trump’s tax returns to congressional investigators.

The House Ways and Means Committee requested returns from Trump’s taxes dating back to the years before his presidency. The Trump administration was unwilling to hand over the taxes, so the committee sued for them, according to the New York Times.

The committee asked for the documents as part of a review of the Internal Revenue Service’s presidential auditing program. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel called that a valid reason for the panel to receive the documents.

An administration official told the New York Times that the Treasury Department plans to provide the returns. Trump has called the probe a “witch hunt” and said he used only legal means to reduce his taxes.

Last year, the Supreme Court ordered Trump’s tax returns to be shared with the Manhattan DA’s office as part of a criminal probe into the Trump Organization.

It’s not clear if the tax information will be made public, as that disclosure could only come after a vote from the Ways and Means Committee.

A previous New York Times investigation did obtain two decades’ worth of Trump’s tax records, which revealed the former president carried forward almost $1 billion in real estate losses from the 1990s that he used to offset nearly all of his personal income tax liability for more than a decade.

[NYT] — Holden Walter-Warner