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Trump Hits Back in Fight Over Tax Returns

Files lawsuit against House panel, New York officials
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 23, 2019 6:23 PM CDT
President Donald Trump is joined on stage with Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk as he finishes speaking at Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, Tuesday,...   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Opening up another legal front against the Democrats investigating him, President Trump on Tuesday sued the House Ways and Means Committee and New York state officials to prevent his state tax returns from being turned over to the congressional committee, the AP reports. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to block the application of a new New York state law that could allow the Democratic-controlled House and Ways Means Committee to obtain the returns. The lawsuit, filed in Washington, comes amid a furious White House attempt to prevent the president's tax returns from winding up in Democratic hands. "We have filed a lawsuit today in our ongoing efforts to end presidential harassment," said Jay Sekulow, one of the president's lawyers. "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."

Trump's tax returns have been a source of mystery—and contention—ever since the celebrity businessman broke with tradition and did not release his returns during his 2016 presidential campaign. The House Ways and Means Committee sued the Treasury Department and IRS officials this month in an attempt to enforce a law that allows its chairman to obtain any taxpayer's returns. Its chairman, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., hasn't indicated whether he would use the New York law, focusing instead on the federal lawsuit. Trump's lawsuit echoes what has become the White House's consistent argument: that the committee's pursuit of the president's tax returns, as well as most of the Democrats' investigative efforts, lack a legitimate legislative purpose and thus is outside Congress's authority. The suit also argues that the committee can't have a legislative purpose in getting state records because its jurisdiction is limited to federal taxes.

(Read more Trump tax return stories.)

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