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Judge Dismisses Trump’s Lawsuit that Tried to Block New York AG and House from Getting His Tax Returns

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Judge Dismisses Trump’s Lawsuit that Tried to Block New York AG and House from Getting His Tax Returns

2019-11-11 21:28:56

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump (Image source: Screenshot)

The saga of Donald Trump’s tax returns continues on, and not in a way he would like. On Monday a federal judge dismissed the president’s lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James and the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the release of his tax returns. It’s just one more nail in his coffin preventing him from keeping his tax information under wraps. 

This has been going on since Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. While it’s customary for candidates to release their tax returns, he bucked the trend and refused, explaining he was under audit and couldn’t. However, three years later, there has been no progress.

There have been pushes from multiple sources to force him to release his tax returns, including the New York attorney general and the House panel. Trump has refused every step of the way and has launched lawsuits trying to prevent the release, but all of his efforts have been failing as he comes up against block after block. 

On Monday U.S District Court Judge Carl Nichols in Washington joined the rest of the chorus. But he’s not saying Trump has to release his returns — he’s simply opining that the D.C. federal court doesn’t have jurisdiction here.

“Based on the current allegations, Mr. Trump has not met his burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over either of the New York defendants,” he wrote. 

“The court heretofore need not reach the question of proper venue. Accordingly, the New York defendants’ motion to dismiss is granted, and Mr. Trump’s amended complaint is dismissed without prejudice to them.”

This concerns a recent law that was adopted with an eye toward forcing Trump to release those returns. This New York state law allows congressional committees to request a president’s state tax returns, as well as those of the vice president, New York members of Congress, and other public officials. The House Ways and Means Committee hasn’t even officially requested the returns, but the president’s legal team was being preemptive by filing a lawsuit to prevent it before it happened. 

“We have said all along that this lawsuit should be dismissed, and we are pleased with the court’s conclusion,” said James in a statement. “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.”

Just last week a federal appeals panel decided Mazars USA, the accounting firm of Trump and his business, can be forced into turning over Trump’s and his business’s records to prosecutors in Manhattan.  

Trump’s attorneys moved to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case. With that, it appears like we are still far, far away from seeing Trump’s tax returns. However, the longer he is wrapped up in the impeachment inquiry and other matters, it will be interesting to see what issues, if any, he decides to let go.

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