Federal Judge Dismisses Trump Lawsuit Over New York Tax Returns

Clay Curtis
November 12, 2019

A federal judge on Monday tossed President Trump's attempt to keep House Democrats from getting to his state tax returns.

The lawsuit centered on a recently adopted NY state law allowing congressional committees to request the state tax returns of the president, vice president, NY members of Congress and other public officials.

Trump's lawyers argued the suit belonged in Washington because that's where Trump's NY returns would be sent and analyzed, if Neal requested them. And, besides, Nichols said, congressional Democrats have yet to take advantage of the law and it's unclear if they ever will.

Despite no requests for his tax returns being made under the act, Trump filed an Emergency Application which sought prevent the potential disclosure of his state tax returns until such a time that a court ruled on the constitutional merits of the state law.

On Monday, Nichols concluded the latter, dismissing the NY state defendants and giving Trump the option of refiling his lawsuit against them in his home state, effectively setting the seven-day clock running, if the House were to ask for Trump's returns.

"Mr. Trump bears the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction, but his allegations do not establish that the District of Columbia's long-arm statute is satisfied here with either defendant", the judge wrote. Congress hadn't yet requested his state tax returns under the law.

It's possible Trump could file a similar lawsuit with another court, such as in NY, or later in an attempt to prevent the request from Congress.

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Team Trump is weighing its options, according to presidential counsel Jay Sekulow.

Trump could refile the lawsuit if the House committee makes a formal request for his tax returns or could file a similar lawsuit in another court.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, who is based in Washington, D.C., said he lacked jurisdiction over Attorney General Letitia James and Michael Schmidt, the commissioner of the state's Department of Taxation and Finance.

Last week, a federal appeals panel ruled the president's accounting firm must hand over its records to Manhattan prosecutors.

House Ways and Means committee Chairman Richard Neal, of Mass., listens to a reporter's question as House democrats arrive for a caucus meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 in Washington. "The case against the Ways and Means Committee proceeds in federal court".

He also argued that Congress has no legislative interest in the president's tax returns.

Trump is also engaged in a legal battle with NY officials, who subpoenaed eight years of his personal and business tax returns.

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