Trump lawyers tell judge House Democrats can't sue for his tax returns

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE's lawyers in a filing Monday urged a federal judge to toss out a House Democratic lawsuit aimed at obtaining the president's tax returns.

The lawyers, who represent both the administration and Trump personally, argued that the House Ways and Means Committee does not have the right to sue the president to enforce a subpoena for his tax returns.

Trump's lawyers described congressional lawsuits against the president as "foreign" to the judicial system established in the Constitution in their memo to Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.


"The dispute here entails no injury to Congress cognizable within the judicial power of the United States, and the Committee lacks the authority to sue on the House’s behalf in any event," the memo stated.

Trump's lawyers said the court does not have jurisdiction to intervene in the dispute between the House committee and the executive branch over the subpoenas.

"Even if Congress could grant federal courts subject matter jurisdiction to enforce its informational demands to the Executive Branch, Congress has nowhere attempted to confer jurisdiction upon the courts to enforce subpoenas issued by the House," the memo read.

The memo further stated that the Ways and Means Committee needs to continue negotiations with the president's lawyers until all options are exhausted before suing for the tax returns.

"The Court should not adjudicate the merits of this suit unless and until the Committee earnestly pursues and exhausts the constitutionally mandated negotiation and accommodation process," Trump's lawyers argued.

Monday's filing is only the latest salvo in the complicated fight over Trump's tax returns.


The Ways and Means Committee sued the Treasury Department and the IRS in July after those agencies refused Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealDemocratic leaders are much more progressive than you might believe On The Money: Governors rethink opening bars, restaurants amid spike in COVID-19 cases | Spiking cases threaten fragile economic recovery | Supreme Court rules consumer bureau director can be fired at will OVERNIGHT ENERGY: White House threatens veto on Democrats' .5 trillion infrastructure plan | Supreme Court won't hear border wall challenge | Witnesses describe 'excessive force' used by law enforcement in Lafayette Square MORE's (D-Mass.) request for six years of Trump's federal tax returns. In the lawsuit, the committee asked the courts to force the administration to comply with the request.

Neal and the committee have defended the request, saying it is part of the committee's oversight function as it looks into how the IRS audits presidents.

But Trump's lawyers challenged the lawsuit, asking the judge to toss it out.

The filing from Trump's lawyers is in response to a memo from the committee last week that urged the judge to let the case proceed.

The case is only one of a number of legal fights over President Trump's financial records. In addition to the Ways and Means Committee lawsuit, Trump is also challenging subpoenas from two other House committees to his banks for financial records related to him, his three oldest children and their businesses.

Trump is also challenging a subpoena from the House Oversight and Reform Committee to his accounting firm, Mazars USA, and in a separate lawsuit a subpoena to Mazars from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Trump is also fighting two state laws, a New York law that allows congressional committees to request a public officials state tax returns and a California law that requires candidates for governor or president to disclose their tax returns to appear on the primary ballot.