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Judge dismisses Trump lawsuit against NY officials, House committee over taxes

ftwitty/iStock
ftwitty/iStock

(WASHINGTON) — A federal judge on Monday issued another blow to President Donald Trump and his ongoing effort to avoid having his tax records turned over to Congress.

U.S. Judge Carl Nichols granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that Trump filed in July over the TRUST Act in New York, which gave Congress the authority to retrieve tax information from New York residents.

In granting the dismissal, he noted that the president, “has not met his burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over either of the New York Defendants.”

The president’s lawsuit named the House Ways and Means Committee, New York Attorney General Letitia James and the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, Michael Schmidt. ABC News reported at the time that Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has hesitated to use the new law to request the president’s state returns.

In their complaint, Trump’s lawyers claimed that Neal had “expressed a renewed interest in utilizing” the statute.

Nichols wrote that “such a speculative statement” about Rep. Richard Neal’s “interest in utilizing” the TRUST Act “does not satisfy” the court.

Shortly after the judge issued his ruling, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement applauding the decision.

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

In response, the president’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, downplayed the implications of the ruling.

“Regarding the tax case out of DC — we are reviewing the opinion,” Sekulow said. “The case against the Ways and Means Committee proceeds in federal court.”

Sekulow was referring to a separate lawsuit with similar implications for the president’ highly sought after tax information. The House Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration seeking six years of the president’s tax returns. A judge has not yet ruled on that case.

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