House Democrats told a federal judge to butt out Thursday, saying the courts have no role to play in refereeing whether Congress uses a New York law to try to get a look at President Trump’s taxes.
In a new court filing, the House Ways and Means Committee said it opposes Mr. Trump’s attempt to get a judge to ban access to his taxes.
“The Supreme Court has repeatedly made clear that courts lack the power to do what Mr. Trump asks,” the committee argued. “The Ways and Means Committee’s decision whether to avail itself of a newly enacted provision of the New York tax code is a legislative act absolutely immune from challenge through the court system.”
Mr. Trump earlier this week asked the courts to intervene and declare unconstitutional New York’s new law allowing officials to turn over tax documents of public officials to Congress.
The president also asked for an immediate order halting cooperation between House Democrats and New York, saying he feared they would speed up their efforts to get a look at his taxes to try to beat a decision in the lawsuit.
In their legal brief Thursday, filed with Judge Trevor N. McFadden in the District Court in Washington, D.C., Democrats said the federal courts cannot compel action — or, in this case, inaction — by a state official.
And Democrats said the House was acting under the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution in trying to obtain Mr. Trump’s taxes, which makes it immune to a court’s intervention.