(CBS) Washington – President Trump has filed a lawsuit against the House Ways and Means Committee and New York state officials in an attempt to keep them from getting their hands on his state tax returns.
The president escalated the already contentious fight over his tax returns Tuesday, filing the lawsuit in federal court in Washington. New York State recently passed a law requiring state officials to release the president’s state returns to congressional committees.
“We have filed a lawsuit today in our ongoing efforts to end presidential harassment. The targeting of the president by the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York Attorney General, and a New York tax official violates Article 1 of the US Constitution,” Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, said in a statement. “The harassment tactics lack a legitimate legislative purpose. The actions taken by the House and New York officials are nothing more than political retribution.”
New York state has promised to fight the president’s attempt to block any state efforts.
“President Trump has spent his career hiding behind lawsuits, but, as New York’s chief law enforcement officer, I can assure him that no one is above the law — not even the president of the United States,” Attorney General Letitia James said. “The TRUST Act will shine a light on the president’s finances and finally offer transparency to millions of Americans yearning to know the truth. We have all the confidence that this law is legal and we will vigorously defend it against any court challenge.”
The president filed the suit in his personal capacity. Mr. Trump said he’d release his tax returns while on the campaign trail but reversed course after taking office.
The lawsuit is just one of many fronts the Trump White House is fighting, as Capitol Hill looks to shed light on the president’s business affairs. The suit also comes one day before special counsel Robert Mueller testifies about his investigation on Capitol Hill.