Yesterday District Judge Carl J. Nichols in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against NYS Attorney General Letitia James over New York’s Trust Act, which allows New York State to release tax returns of certain people including federal officials and the president under specific circumstances.
According to a press release from James, “We have said all along that this lawsuit should be dismissed and we are pleased with the court’s conclusion. The TRUST Act is an important tool that will ensure accountability to millions of Americans who deserve to know the truth. We have never doubted that this law was legal, which is why we vigorously defended it from the start and will continue to do so.”
According to the court’s ruling, “[a] plaintiff may not use jurisdictional discovery to ‘conduct a fishing expedition in the hopes of discovering some basis of jurisdiction.’”
New York’s TRUST Act was signed into law in July 2019 to allow state officials to access the New York State tax returns of certain federal, state, and local government officials — including the president — if those tax returns are requested by congressional tax committees when the “returns have been requested for a specified and legitimate legislative purpose.” After the Act was signed into law, President Trump sued Attorney General James, the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Michael Schmidt, to halt the implementation of the law.
The president and other Republicans allege the law was written specifically to gain access to President Trump’s tax returns, although the State of New York denies it.