Democrats file brief saying courts can't stop panel from getting Trump's NY tax returns

The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee argued in a court filing Thursday that courts lack jurisdiction to enjoin the panel from using a New York law to request President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE’s state tax returns.

The filing comes in response to a lawsuit Trump filed in his personal capacity earlier this week challenging the New York law, and an emergency application Trump filed Wednesday requesting that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealPelosi forms House committee to oversee coronavirus response Trump's ambitious infrastructure vision faces Senate GOP roadblock  Mnuchin says Social Security recipients will automatically get coronavirus checks MORE (D-Mass.) be barred from seeking Trump’s New York tax filings before the president’s case is heard in court.
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A federal judge in D.C., Trump-appointee Trevor McFadden, has scheduled a hearing on Trump’s motion for Thursday afternoon.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a law earlier this month that would allow the chairmen of Congress’s tax committees to request public officials’ state tax returns from the commissioner of the state’s department of taxation and finance.

Neal has not made a final determination about whether he will use the law to request Trump’s New York tax returns. He has filed a separate lawsuit in an effort to obtain six years of Trump's federal tax returns.

Trump’s lawsuit, which was filed against New York officials in addition to the Ways and Means Committee, argues that the Ways and Means Committee lacks a legitimate legislative purpose to use the New York law, and that the law violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Ways and Means Committee is arguing, however, that Trump’s lawsuit and emergency application “brazenly request that this Court violate the separation of powers and enjoin the Ways and Means Committee from even embarking on legislative activity squarely within its Article I powers.”  

The committee states in its filing that its decision about whether to utilize the New York law is immune from a court challenge under the Constitution’s speech or debate clause.

The committee asked McFadden to reject Trump’s “jurisdictionally defective and meritless” emergency motion, and for the judge to dismiss the committee from the case.