Trump sues to block House Democrats from accessing New York tax returns

Trump sues to block House Democrats from accessing New York tax returns”

President Donald Trump is suing the House Ways and Means Committee and NY state officials to prevent his state tax returns from being turned over to the congressional committee.

The federal lawsuit seeks a cout injunction blocking Empire State officials from using a the powers in a new law to give the president's state income tax returns to the Democrat-led panel in Washington.

The president's suit comes after the committee chairman, Richard Neal, D-Mass., earlier this month sued the Trump administration, accusing officials of violating federal law by refusing to comply with the panel's requests and subpoenas for the documents.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal is "facing intense pressure from his fellow Democrats" to use the NY law, Trump's lawyers say.

The committee sued the Treasury Department and IRS officials this month in an attempt to enforce a law that allows its chairman to obtain any taxpayer's returns.

"We have filed a lawsuit today in our ongoing efforts to end presidential harassment", Jay Sekulow, one of the president's attorneys, told The Associated Press in a statement.

The president's lawsuit also claimed that the new law was "unconstitutional" and "violates the First Amendment", saying it was enacted "to discriminate and retaliate against President Trump for his speech and politics".

'And New York could respond to the request almost instantaneously, mooting the President's ability to object before his tax records are disclosed'.

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Neal has not said whether he intends to use the NY law to obtain Trump's state tax returns, which are likely to contain information similar to his federal filings. Trump has defied a decades-old tradition of presidents voluntarily releasing their tax filings.

The state's attorney general, Letitia James, said the act "will shine a light on the president's finances and finally offer transparency to millions of Americans yearning to know the truth".

Seeking to help congressional Democrats, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last month authorizing officials there to share Trump's state tax returns with Neal.

The animating objective of that initial request was exposure of Trump's private tax information, according to the new complaint. The Treasury Department said the committee had no legitimate goal for reviewing Trump's returns.

"Ultimately, this issue was litigated in the 2016 election", the lawsuit said. "Voters heard the criticisms from Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, and they elected President Trump anyway. Democrats in Congress and across the country, however, have only become more eager to disclose the President's tax returns for political gain".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the Democrats are motivated exclusively by 'exposure of a political opponent's private tax information'.

The Treasury Department has denied the committee's request, despite a federal law that says the department "shall furnish" such records to the panel if requested.

In two other court cases, Trump has tried to block the House Intelligence Committee, the House Oversight Committee and the House Financial Services Committee from obtaining his financial records from Capital One bank, Deutsche Bank and the accounting firm Mazars USA.

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