Politics

Trump wants judge to block leading House Democrat from even requesting his state tax returns for now

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Key Points
  • Lawyers for President Donald Trump on Wednesday ask a federal judge to temporarily block the House Ways and Means Committee's top Democrat from "requesting or receiving" Trump's New York state tax returns.
  • They argue that the Democrat, Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, could request years of Trump's state tax returns "at any time" and "with no notice to the President" under a recently passed New York state law, dubbed the TRUST Act.
  • If Trump "seeks relief after the Committee's Chairman requests his state tax returns, the returns might be disclosed before he can be heard in court," the lawyers say in the court filing.
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House, July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Lawyers for President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked a federal judge to temporarily block the House Ways and Means Committee's top Democrat from "requesting or receiving" Trump's New York state tax returns.

"The President is in an intolerable situation," Trump's lawyers wrote in an "emergency application for relief" filed to Judge Trevor McFadden in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

They argue that the Democrat, Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, could request years of Trump's state tax returns "at any time" and "with no notice to the President" under a recently passed New York state law, dubbed the TRUST Act.

If Trump "seeks relief after the Committee's Chairman requests his state tax returns, the returns might be disclosed before he can be heard in court," the lawyers said in the Wednesday evening court filing. "At the same time, immediate judicial review could force the Court to prematurely decide constitutional issues that might otherwise be avoided."

The lawyers want McFadden to enjoin Neal from making a potential request for Trump's state taxes until Trump "obtains an opportunity for judicial review."

The request came a day after Trump sued the Ways and Means Committee, as well as New York state's Attorney General Letitia James and tax chief Michael Schmidt, to block the disclosure of years of his tax returns outright.

That House panel in early July sued the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS chief Charles Rettig, for six years of Trump's federal tax returns.

Neal's committee opposed Trump's request, according to the court filing, while the New York defendants took no position.

A spokeswoman for Neal's office did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Trump has refused to show his tax documents before or after winning the 2016 presidential election, despite a longstanding tradition among modern presidential candidates to disclose their returns.

Read Trump's court filing below: