- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2019

President Trump asked a federal court Tuesday to take steps to block New York from sharing his tax returns with congressional Democrats, saying a new state law designed to make the information available to Capitol Hill is unconstitutional.

The Trust Act, New York’s new law, allows the state to turn over tax information to Congress if there’s a legitimate investigation. State officials created the law in response to Mr. Trump’s refusal to make his tax information public.

Mr. Trump, in the new lawsuit, says that makes the law an attempt to discriminate against him.

He asked the federal court in Washington, D.C., to declare New York’s law unconstitutional and to officially rule that the House Ways and Means Committee, which has been battling the IRS for access to Mr. Trump’s returns, lacks a “legitimate” purpose for its inquiry.

New York Attorney General Letitia James vowed to defend the law, and confirmed that one goal is to expose Mr. Trump’s tax information.

“The Trust Act will shine a light on the president’s finances and finally offer transparency to millions of Americans yearning to know the truth,” she said.

Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal tried earlier this year to subpoena the president’s tax records and, after the Treasury Department refused, he has gone to the same D.C.-based court to ask a judge to order the records to be turned over.

President and candidates must file financial disclosures giving a rough summary of their wealth, but there is no law requiring them to reveal their actual taxes. Still, it’s been standard practice for every major political party nominee for decades — until Mr. Trump.

One liberal activist group said the myriad fights only deepen the mystery surrounding the president’s finances.

“This lawsuit once again raises the question: what is Donald Trump so determined to hide?” said Stand Up America spokesperson Ryan Thomas. “This is yet another desperate attempt by Donald Trump to block congressional oversight and obscure the truth from the American people about his foreign entanglements and conflicts of interest.”

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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