A federal judge on Monday threw out a bid by President Donald Trump to prevent House Democrats from tapping a recently passed NY law to obtain his state tax filings.
U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols in Washington issued a ruling on Monday, determining the federal court in D.C. does not have jurisdiction over the matter.
Judge Nichols reasoned that the D.C. court not exercise jurisdiction over the Defendants (New York's commissioner and attorney general, and the House Ways and Means Committee) because Trump failed to show they had engaged in a "commercial or business-related activity" directed at D.C. residents.
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.
Wary of his own suit appearing to be a political fishing expedition, Neal argued he needs Trump's federal returns in order to understand how well the IRS is implementing a long-standing policy of auditing the president.
Trump has refused to release his tax returns since he was a presidential candidate and is the only modern president who hasn't made that financial information public.
The TRUST Act, which was signed into law in July 2019, allows state officials to access the tax returns of certain government officials, including the president, if the tax returns are requested by a congressional tax committee and have been requested for a legitimate legislative goal.
The D.C. federal court where Trump filed his complaint dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that it did not have jurisdiction over the New York-based defendants.
The House panel, chaired by Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), has not requested Trump's state returns.
Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow told NBC News the president's lawyers are reviewing the Monday's 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. "We're serving up the president's state tax returns on a silver platter - why don't they request them?" That portion of the case remains ongoing. Trump had sued to block James from enforcing the new law and block Schmidt from providing the documents. "The TRUST Act is an important tool that will ensure accountability to millions of Americans who deserve to know the truth".
"We have never doubted that this law was legal, which is why we vigorously defended it from the start and will continue to do so", she said in a statement.
"Mr. Trump may renew his claims against the New York Defendants should future events trigger one or more provisions of the Washington long-arm statute, and he may, of course, sue either New York Defendant in another forum (presumably in New York)", Nichols wrote in his opinion, according to the National Law Journal.
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Donald Trump lawsuit against NY over tax returns is dismissed
Judge Carl Nichols ruled that the case mostly involves NY state law, so his Washington , DC, court isn't the place to consider it. Trump argued that any request made for his state tax returns under the TRUST Act, would violate the First Amendment of the U.S.
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