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Trump sues to block House Democrats from accessing N.Y. tax returns

By Danielle Haynes
Trump sues to block House Democrats from accessing N.Y. tax returns
President Donald Trump's lawsuit asks the court to declare the House ways and means committee's attempts to view his tax returns lack a legislative purpose. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

July 23 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday sued to block the House Committee on Ways and Means from accessing his tax returns two weeks after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law allowing the state to share the information with the U.S. Congress.

The lawsuit also names New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York's tax chief, Michael Schmidt.

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Trump accused congressional Democrats of seeking his tax returns and personal financial information solely to embarrass him. It calls on the federal court in Washington, D.C., to declare that the House committee "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose for obtaining the President's state tax information."

Earlier this month, Cuomo signed legislation amending New York's tax code to give congressional tax-related committees access to state tax returns if requested. The legislation, which doesn't specifically name Trump, gives the New York Department of Taxation and Finance authority to share tax returns with lawmakers.

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Trump hasn't disclosed any tax information since announcing his candidacy in mid-2015. While he's refused repeated calls by lawmakers to release his federal tax returns, his New York state returns could contain much of the same information.

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Last month, the Justice Department backed the Treasury Department's rebuff of congressional Democrats' efforts to get Trump's tax returns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected a subpoena by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Mnuchin reiterated the Trump administration's stance that the committee's request lacks a "legitimate legislative purpose."

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