Trump sues to prevent the release of his tax returns
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has filed suit in federal court in Washington, DC, against the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York state attorney general and the New York tax commissioner to prevent the disclosure of his tax returns.
Trump seeks a series of injunctions and restraining orders from the court.
“We have filed a lawsuit today in our ongoing efforts to end presidential harassment,” said Jay Sekulow, an attorney representing the President, in a statement. “The targeting of the President by the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York Attorney General, and a New York tax official violates Article 1 of the US Constitution. The harassment tactics lack a legitimate legislative purpose. The actions taken by the House and New York officials are nothing more than political retribution.”
CNN is reaching out to the parties named for comment.
The lawsuit comes as Trump is appealing other court decisions that sided with Congress when the President attempted to block congressional committees from obtaining his financial records.
Earlier this month, the Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee escalated the fight for the President’s personal financial information by filing a lawsuit to enforce subpoenas and obtain Trump’s tax returns.
The lawsuit was filed in DC District Court against the Treasury Department and the IRS and their respective heads, Steve Mnuchin and Charles Rettig.
The move came months after House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal made his initial request for the President’s tax information on April 3. 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.
Neal is using a little-known IRS provision known as 6103, which allows the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to request and obtain an individual’s tax information for a legitimate legislative purpose.
The Democrats on Neal’s committee have argued they need access to Trump’s tax returns in order to understand how the IRS administers the presidential audit program. The Treasury Department has argued it is not a legitimate legislative purpose.
The lawsuit piles onto several other court fights involving other committees and members of Congress seeking Trump’s financial records.
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.
Trial-level judges have sided with Congress, saying the committees have broad authority to pursue investigations with subpoenas like these.
Trump is appealing both court decisions, and the cases aren’t likely to be resolved until at least next month.
This story is breaking and will be updated.