Published: Tue, November 12, 2019

Federal judge dismisses Trump lawsuit against NY over tax returns

Federal judge dismisses Trump lawsuit against NY over tax returns

A federal judge on Monday dismissed lawsuit by President Donald Trump to stop the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining state tax returns under a law recently enacted by NY.

"Mr. Trump has also not demonstrated that jurisdictional discovery is warranted", U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols wrote.

Judge Nichols said Mr. Trump was welcome to sue the officials - New York Attorney General Letitia James and state tax officer Michael Schmidt - in New York.

Trump had sued the New Yorkers in an effort to keep his state tax returns under wraps in case House Democrats utilized a new NY law to request them.

"Based on the current allegations, Mr. Trump has not met his burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over either of the NY defendants", Nichols wrote in a 19-page ruling.

Even so, Trump's lawyers filed the lawsuit and argued that an emergency court order was needed because his NY returns might be disclosed before the president's opposition could be heard in court.

Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow, said he was reviewing the ruling.

"Based on the current allegations, Mr. Trump has not met his burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over either of the New York Defendants", Nichols wrote.

When asked about the NY law in June, Neal told The Republican that obtaining the state tax returns would bolster the Trump administration arguments that Congress is on a political fishing expedition - and not, as Neal has maintained, overseeing the IRS audits of the president. But Trump could pursue the case in NY, the judge said.


The president's latest defeat in his fight to keep his tax returns secret comes amid a particularly trying week for the White House, with the first week of public impeachment hearings scheduled for Wednesday and Friday.

Nichols was appointed to the court in June 2019.

The decision is likely to increase pressure on Neal to make use of the NY law. And, besides, Nichols said, congressional Democrats have yet to take advantage of the law and it's unclear if they ever will.

Barring lawmakers from even requesting Trump's state returns would appear to mark the first time any court overrode Congress's freedom to conduct legislative work, before lawmakers have taken any action, Letter said.

The House Ways and Means Committee has separately sued the Trump administration in federal court for access to Trump's federal tax returns as part of an investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's audit programme and tax law compliance by the president.

The president has also asked for a full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn a circuit panel's decision upholding a subpoena from the House Oversight and Reform Committee for similar Trump records dating to 2011 from Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA.

Trump has denied having an affair.

Trump doesn't want his tax returns released.

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