Trump argues NY tax return case should take place in DC

Trump argues NY tax return case should take place in DC
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE on Monday filed an amended complaint in his case challenging a New York law that allows Congress to obtain his state tax returns.

The amended complaint was filed after the New York officials he’s suing — Attorney General Letitia James and tax official Michael Schmidt — filed a motion arguing that the case shouldn’t be heard in federal court in D.C. and should be either dismissed or moved to federal court in New York.

In the new version of the complaint, Trump adds more information that appears designed to explain why the case should take place in federal court in D.C.

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“The District is where the [New York law] is aimed and where the President’s injury and virtually all of the relevant conduct will occur,” Trump argues in the amended complaint. 

Trump added that the House Ways and Means Committee would request his state tax returns in D.C., New York would send the returns to D.C., and the committee would decide whether and how to make the returns public in D.C.

The amended complaint also argues that James and Schmidt, both Democrats, have ties to D.C. It states that James has pursued legal challenges against Trump in federal court in D.C., that James has traveled to D.C. for various events in recent years, and that Schmidt lived in D.C. when he worked in the Treasury Department in 2011 and 2012.

Additionally, the amended complaint adds House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOn The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Democrats press Trump officials over drop in ObamaCare signups amid website problems Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE (D-Mass.) and the committee’s chief counsel, Andrew Grossman, as defendants. James, Schmidt and the committee were defendants in the original complaint and continue to be defendants in the new version.

Trump, in his capacity as a private citizen, filed the initial complaint challenging the New York law last month, shortly after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed it. The law allows the chairs of Congress’s tax committees to request public officials’ New York tax returns from the state as long as they have also requested related federal tax returns from the Treasury Department and the request furthers a legitimate task of Congress.

Neal has said his lawyers are reviewing the New York law. He has emphasized that his focus has been on trying to obtain Trump’s federal tax returns as part of the committee’s interest in examining how the IRS enforces tax laws against a president.

Trump argues that there would be no legitimate legislative purpose for Congress to request his state tax returns and that the New York law violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Earlier this month, James and Schmidt filed a motion arguing that the federal court in D.C. doesn’t have jurisdiction over them and is the wrong venue for the lawsuit.

Trump’s amended complaint moots New York’s motion, so under an order issued last week, the New York officials have until Aug. 29 to file a new motion about jurisdiction and venue. Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, is scheduled to hold a hearing on the motion on Sept. 18.

A spokesman for the New York Attorney General’s Office said that the state remains confident about its arguments and looks forward to making its case next month.

Under an order Nichols issued earlier this month, New York will not provide any requested Trump tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee until one week after he rules on New York’s arguments.

The lawsuit over the New York tax return law is one of several pending lawsuits that relates to the president’s tax filings.

The Ways and Means Committee filed a lawsuit in early July in an effort to get the Treasury Department and IRS to provide the panel with Trump’s federal tax returns.

Additionally, Trump, the Republican National Committee and a group of voters represented by Judicial Watch have filed separate lawsuits challenging a California law that would keep the president off the state’s 2020 primary ballot unless he discloses his tax returns.