D.C. Federal Judge Tosses Trump Suit To Block NY From Giving Congress His Tax Returns

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: U.S. President Donald Trump poses for photographs with farmers and ranchers from across the country in the Oval Office at the White House May 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. As the U.S.-China tra... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: U.S. President Donald Trump poses for photographs with farmers and ranchers from across the country in the Oval Office at the White House May 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. As the U.S.-China trade war continues to hurt American farmers with tariffs on everything from peanut butter to soybeans and orange juice, the federal government announced Thursday it will give an additional $16 billion bailout to those most affected. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 11, 2019 3:44 p.m.

A Washington, D.C. federal judge on Monday rejected an attempt by President Donald Trump to prevent New York state from releasing his tax returns to Congress. But Trump could pursue the case in New York, the judge said.

Trump’s suit centers on a new law in New York that would allow the state to release his state tax returns (or those of certain other public officials) to Congress.

The House Ways and Means Committee hasn’t actually requested the documents yet, but Trump in July preemptively sued the committee, as well as New York’s attorney general and tax commissioner, to prevent such a request from being honored.

New York Attorney General Letitia James argued in July that Trump had not proven that the case could be argued in D.C. on jurisdictional grounds, and Judge Carl Nichols of the D.C. District Court agreed with her in his opinion Monday, dismissing Trump’s complaint.

“Even if Mr. Trump alleged that either New York Defendant was involved in the legislative process, he cites no authority for the proposition that enacting or helping to enact a state statute in another state would constitute ‘transacting business’ in the District of Columbia,” the judge wrote, knocking done one of several of Trump’s arguments that the dispute over the New York law could be adjudicated in Washington, D.C.

Nichols originally asked Trump, the committee and the New York officials to work things out among themselves. But the parties told the court a day later that they had opposite views of the case.

Nichols is a recent federal judge, a Trump nominee who was confirmed by the Senate in June.

“Mr. Trump may press his claims against the New York Defendants in this Court should future events support the exercise of personal jurisdiction over them, or he may opt to pursue those claims in an appropriate forum,” he concluded his opinion Monday.

Separately, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined last week to block a subpoena of Trump’s financial records, including his tax returns, in an ongoing state investigation. Trump’s attorneys have said they intend to take both that matter and another dispute over Trump’s financial records in D.C. to the Supreme Court if necessary.

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