Trump seeks order blocking House from asking for tax returns

President Donald Trump asked a federal judge for an emergency order keeping House Democrats from getting — or even asking for — his New York State tax returns.

One day after the president sued to block the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining those records under a newly enacted New York State law, he petitioned the court to stifle any such request before it’s made by Committee Chairman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden in Washington set a July 25 hearing on Trump’s request.

President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House
President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House

Neal hasn’t committed to asking for the returns. They were placed within reach by the TRUST Act, a measure signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this month. It compels the state’s tax department to comply with the House committee records requests. Trump wants the court to invalidate the law too.

The lack of a request by Neal could render the lawsuit premature.

“The president is in an intolerable situation,” his attorneys told McFadden in a court filing on Wednesday. “If he seeks relief after the chairman requests his state tax returns, the returns might be disclosed before he can be heard in court. At the same time, immediate judicial review could force the court to prematurely decide constitutional issues that might otherwise be avoided.”

McFadden was appointed by Trump two years ago. He is also presiding over a House Ways and Means Committee lawsuit asking him to order the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to give the committee the president’s past six years of federal returns.

The cases are Trump v. Committee on Ways and Means, 19-cv-2173, and Committee on Ways and Means v. U.S. Department of the Treasury, 19-cv-1974, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).