Judicial Setback For Donald Trump: He Can't Keep Hiding His Tax Returns

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump on Monday in an attempt to prevent the House of Representatives Media and Arbitration Committee from resorting to a New York law to obtain a copy of their tax returns.

According to the decision of Judge Carl Nichols, of the District of Columbia, this is not the appropriate jurisdiction to file this lawsuit against the New York Attorney General's Office and the director of the State Department of Taxation and Finance, Michael Schmidt, and the Media and Arbitration Committee, which have claimed their financial statements.

Trump's action happened after July 8, New York, turned into law two measures that would force the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to deliver the president's state tax return, which had official residence in the Big Apple , if so requested by the presidents of three congressional committees, including the Media and Arbitration Committee, led by Democrat Richard Neal.

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In addition, the "Trust Law", as this measure has been called, would allow them to request these tax documents concerning the members of the New York Lower Chamber, as well as the staff working with the head of state and the officials who work in a government portfolio and are from this region.

The judge gave way to the motion of the defendants to dismiss the lawsuit but opens the possibility for the president to go to a New York jurisdiction.

Donald Trump, president of the United States. / REUTERS / Andrew Kelly / PHOTO: Andrew Kelly

Among the arguments presented in Trump's lawsuit, his lawyers claimed that the New York law violates the rights of the president under the First Amendment of the Constitution because it was promulgated "to discriminate and retaliate against the president for his speeches and policies."

Trump is the first president since Gerald Ford (1974-1977) who does not publish his tax return every year, a tradition that his predecessors considered part of his duty of transparency and accountability to the people.

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The president broke that tradition already during the 2016 election campaign, when he refused to publish his last tax return on the grounds that he was subject to an audit by the US Internal Revenue Service. (IRS)

New York Attorney General Letitia James welcomed the magistrate's decision.

"We have said all the time that this lawsuit should be dismissed and we are satisfied with the conclusion of the court. The Trust Act is an important tool that will ensure accountability to millions of Americans who deserve to know the truth," he said in a statement. .

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"We never doubt the legality of this law, which is why we vigorously defend it from the beginning and we will always continue to do so," he said.

On November 4 a panel of three judges of an appeals court in New York rejected a Trump appeal and ordered the firm that keeps the accounting of the president of the United States to deliver his tax returns of recent years to the Prosecutor's Office from the district of Manhattan, as part of an investigation he makes about secret money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

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In early October, a federal judge in New York rejected the immunity argument against criminal proceedings that Trump alleged after being required by that prosecutor's office to deliver those tax returns, and the president appealed the decision.

The panel of judges considered that the authorities have requested the documents from the accounting firm, Marzars, not Trump, so the issue of presidential immunity was not relevant.

Source: EFE

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