EPIC v. IRS: D.C. Circuit Hears Arguments in FOIA Case for Trump's Tax Returns

The D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments today in EPIC v. IRS, EPIC's Freedom of Information Act case to obtain public release of President Trump's tax returns. EPIC argued that the IRS has the authority, under a provision known as "(k)(3)," to disclose the President's returns to correct numerous misstatements of fact concerning his financial ties to Russia. For example, President Trump falsely tweeted that "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING." EPIC Counsel John Davisson told the court that "If ever there were a situation that justified the use of (k)(3), this is it." Judge Patricia Millett questioned the IRS's claim that it can only process EPIC's FOIA with the President's consent. "It would be ludicrous to require consent of the taxpayer under (k)(3)," Millett said. A broad majority of the American public favor the release of the President's tax returns. EPIC v. IRS is one of several FOIA cases EPIC has pursued concerning Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, including EPIC v. FBI (response to Russian cyberattack) and EPIC v. DHS (election cybersecurity). In a related case, EPIC v. IRS II, EPIC is seeking the release of tax settlement information concerning Donald Trump's businesses. These "offers in compromise" are "an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles a taxpayer's tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed."

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