Trump Sues To Block Law Requiring Tax Returns Release To Appear On Ballot

President Donald Trump talks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump and his 2020 reelection campaign filed a lawsuit on Tuesday asking a federal judge to block a California law requiring presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns.

Filed in federal court in the Eastern District of California, Trump is using personal attorneys to sue the state’s attorney general and secretary of state in a bid to prevent them from implementing the new law.

Trump alleged in the complaint that the California law requiring disclosure of five years of the tax returns of presidential candidates before they can appear on the state primary ballot “adds an unconstitutional qualification to the fixed set of qualifications for the presidency in the Constitution.”

Through personal attorney William Consovoy – the conservative movement lawyer who has claimed that Congress cannot investigate the president – Trump accused Democrats of launching a “crusade to obtain” Trump’s taxes “in the hopes of finding something they can use to harm him politically.”

“In their rush to join this crusade, California Democrats have run afoul of these restrictions on State power over federal elections,” the complaint reads.

Trump went on to argue in the filing that the California law violates a constitutional provision that empowers the federal government, and not the states, to impose qualifications for federal office.

Trump contends that California’s motive in passing the law is not only partisan, but blatant in its individual targeting of Trump, citing a statement from California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).

“Governor Newsom likewise made clear who the law’s target was,” the complaint reads. “Before signing the bill, he discussed whether President Trump would disclose his tax returns if the law were passed.”

Trump went on to cite a signing statement that Newsom issued with the law’s passage as evidence that the law unfairly targets him. The signing statement said in part that “the disclosure required by this bill will shed light on conflicts of interest, self-dealing, or influence from domestic and foreign business interest.”

The California GOP also filed a motion on Tuesday for the state Supreme Court to consider throwing the law out.

Read the complaint here:

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