Former President Trump seeks to block Treasury Department from handing over his tax returns to Congress

FILE - In this July 24, 2021, file photo former President Donald Trump speaks on a variety of topics to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering in Phoenix. The midsummer race for Ohio's traditionally Republican 15th Congressional District wouldn't typically get much national attention. But it's suddenly becoming a high-stakes test of Trump's endorsement power, which he has wielded as a cudgel to silence opposition in the GOP.  Trump has endorsed Mike Carey, a coal lobbyist who is among 10 Republicans jockeying to replace former GOP Rep. Steve Stivers, who retired from Congress earlier this year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
FILE - In this July 24, 2021, file photo former President Donald Trump speaks on a variety of topics to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering in Phoenix. The midsummer race for Ohio's traditionally Republican 15th Congressional District wouldn't typically get much national attention. But it's suddenly becoming a high-stakes test of Trump's endorsement power, which he has wielded as a cudgel to silence opposition in the GOP. Trump has endorsed Mike Carey, a coal lobbyist who is among 10 Republicans jockeying to replace former GOP Rep. Steve Stivers, who retired from Congress earlier this year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Lawyers for Donald Trump on Wednesday urged a federal judge to block the Treasury Department from handing his tax returns over to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The committee’s stated reason for seeing the returns, to examine how the IRS audits presidents, is simply a pretext for wanting to look for something embarrassing, they said.

“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 in their court filing. “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.”

Read the full report on NBCNews.com.