Last week, a legal team working for former president Donald Trump wrote a court filing that challenged New York state law on the 2019-enacted TRUST Act. The TRUST Act essentially allows chairs of Congress’s tax committees to request public officials’ state tax returns. Trumps’ lawyers have urged a federal judge to consider that the statute cannot be applied to former Presidents.
When the law was enacted in 2019 by New York state, Trump immediately filed a lawsuit to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from accessing his state tax returns. At the time, federal district court judge Carl Nichols ordered the Ways and Means Committee to give notice to the President and his lawyers if they wanted to request his state tax returns. Now, Trumps’ lawyers are working hard to ensure that Nichols keeps this order in place or rules that the TRUST Act doesn’t apply to Trump at all.
The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal (D-Mass) has not yet requested Trump’s State Tax returns. Instead, he is gunning for the former president’s federal tax returns from the Treasury Departments and the IRS. This is the subject of another lawsuit, efforts of which include using a provision of the federal tax code that states that the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” returns requested by the chairs of Congress’s tax committee.
A court filing by the House Ways and Means Committee lawyers makes it clear that Nichols’ order is a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers principle. The court filing recommended that the Court dismiss the case and leave “the plaintiff Trump with whatever remedies he might wish to pursue in an appropriate court against an appropriate defendant.”