President Trump sues the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and New York state officials Tuesday in an attempt to protect his state tax returns
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump sued the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and New York state officials Tuesday in an attempt to protect his state tax returns from being turned over to the congressional committee. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Washington and seeks an injunction that would block a recent New York state law that would allow the congressional committee to obtain the President’s state tax returns. ~
This lawsuit from Mr. Trump comes in response to a New York state law signed on July 8, 2019 by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The bill, which was put into effect immediately, states that by the request of one of three congressional committees – the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Join Committee on Taxation – that state tax officials are legally allowed to hand over President Trump’s state tax returns to the said congressional committees if proven through legal processes that doing so has a “specified and legitimate legislative purpose” (The New York Times, 2019). The bill also states that the committee must have already requested federal returns from the Treasury Department, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, the House Ways and Means Committee already did earlier this month in an attempt to “try to enforce a federal law that lets the committee chairman obtain any taxpayer’s returns.” ~
Critics of the New York bill claim that the bill is unconstitutional due to the Constitution prohibiting what is known as a “bill of attainder,” which is a law that singles out an individual person for punishment. Governor Cuomo indicated, however, that he would only sign the bill if it applies to everyone, not just President Trump. The bill does meet that standard. Cuomo stated on July 8 that “By amending the law enforcement exception in New York State tax code to include Congressional tax-related committees, this bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.” It remains unclear what direction Mr. Trump’s legal team will take the lawsuit against the congressional committee and the New York state officials. ~
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