Taxes

Judge Tosses Tax Returns Lawsuit In Latest Setback For Trump

(Updated: 2:44 p.m. EST, 11/11/2019)

Topline: A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Monday filed by President Trump in Washington D.C’s district court to prevent Congress from obtaining his state tax returns, handing the president his latest setback in keeping his financial records out of lawmakers’ hands.

  • Trump’s lawsuit aimed to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining his taxes through a New York law passed in July.
  • The claim also sought to keep New York attorney general Letitia James from enforcing the law as well as the state’s Department of Taxation from producing the tax returns.
  • Trump argued in the lawsuit that the House committee and New York officials fell under “conspiracy jurisdiction,” but Nichols ruled that Trump did not “sufficiently” establish, or mention, a conspiracy between the two in his complaint.
  • Nichols ruled that because the House committee had not pursued Trump’s records through the New York law, his court was not the correct jurisdiction for Trump’s suit.
  • According to CNN, Trump could re-file his lawsuit in New York.
  • Nichols is a Trump appointee to Washington’s federal branch.

Crucial quote: “Based on the current allegations, Mr. Trump has not met his burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over either of the New York Defendants. The Court therefore 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 as to them,” wrote Nichols in his decision.

Key background: There are at least seven separate, ongoing efforts to surface Trump’s financial records. One week ago, a three-judge panel ruled that Trump must hand his returns over to Manhattan’s district attorney. The case is expected to be eventually heard by the Supreme Court through an appeal. New York’s attorney general is likewise seeking Trump’s tax returns, along with two additional House committees. A California law⁠—which was passed in July and then blocked by a federal judge⁠—would have required candidates running in state primaries to release their tax returns. 

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