“While the TRUST Act is not the clearest statute, the best reading is that it does not apply to former Presidents,” the attorneys wrote in a filing.
The law in question, which was enacted in 2019, lets the state share tax return information with congressional committees.
Legislators who sponsored the bill said it was inspired by the Trump administration’s refusal to hand over Trump’s tax returns. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) sought Trump’s tax returns that year but was turned down, triggering a lawsuit.
The Treasury Department later found that then-Secretary Steven Mnuchin acted properly in his refusal.
In the new filing, Trump’s lawyers said the House committee is still pursuing Trump’s tax returns even though he left office on Jan. 20.
“The committee is still pursuing plaintiff’s financial information, the committee won’t concede that the Trust Act is limited to current presidents, the committee won’t promise not to invoke the Trust Act against plaintiff, and the committee won’t agree to give plaintiff advance notice before it invokes the Trust Act,” it stated.
Lawyers for the committee told U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols in their own filing that was submitted at the same time that it has no plans to proceed in the matter.
“At no point has the Chairman or the Committee taken any action with regard to the relevant New York state statute. Indeed, the Chairman and the Committee have taken no action at all with regard to the New York state statute or plaintiff Donald J. Trump’s New York state tax returns, nor threatened to take any such action,” they wrote.
Trump brought the lawsuit in the case in July 2019, asking the court to declare that the committee lacked a legitimate legislative purpose for obtaining his information, to declare that the TRUST Act violates the First Amendment, and to issue a permanent injunction against the state’s attorney general from enforcing the law.
Trump has several ongoing legal battles concerning his taxes. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court allowed an accounting firm to deliver his returns to prosecutors in New York as they investigate him for undisclosed wrongdoing. In a third case, the parties will appear in June as a separate House committee seeks Trump’s records.