President Donald Trump on Tuesday sued to block a U.S. House of Representatives committee from obtaining his NY statetax returns, with his lawyer accusing the Democratic-controlled panel of "presidential harassment".
Trump's lawyers argued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that obtaining his tax returns violates his constitutional rights and accused the Democratic-controlled committee of "presidential harassment", Reuters reported.
New York's law "was enacted to retaliate against the President because of his policy positions, his political beliefs, and his protected speech, including the positions he took during the 2016 campaign", the filing said.
The suit also says the Ways and Means Committee's jurisdiction is limited to Trump's federal taxes and "no legislation could possibly result from a request for the President's state returns".
After the administration refused to honor a subpoena by Neal for Trump's federal returns, NY enacted a law that would allow officials there to turn over his state returns to Ways and Means and two other congressional committees with jurisdiction over tax issues at the request of their respective chairs.
The attorneys said the restraining order should remain in place until Neal notifies Trump and the court that he intends to seek the president's state returns from NY and the court rules on its legality. NY officials are also named in the suit.
The court should also block the law because it's unconstitutional, Trump's team argues.
"It's no surprise that the president has moved quickly in an attempt to strike down New York's tax transparency law as he is fighting the release of his tax returns on every front", Buchwald (D-Westchester) said in a statement. "Voters heard the criticisms from Secretary Clinton, and they elected President Trump anyway".
This latest lawsuit is the fourth so far this year involving Trump and his effort to keep his tax returns and financial records from Democrats in Congress. "They've blocked congressional testimony, they've obstructed prosecutorial investigations, and they've abused executive privilege - all to protect Trump's malfeasance".
The House's earlier lawsuit to enforce the Ways and Means Committee subpoena is before US District Judge Trevor McFadden, a former Trump Justice Department official. Under previous law, though, state tax returns were required to remain private with an exception for law enforcement. After several follow-up letters, the Treasury Department formally denied the request and Neal issued subpoenas to the IRS and Treasury Department on May 10.
Democrats have claimed that Trump's business dealings present a host of potential conflicts of interest that they can't understand without his tax information.
The lawsuit piles onto several other court fights involving other committees and members of Congress seeking Trump's financial records.
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