Trump sues over California law forcing candidates to turn over tax returns

Posted at 11:45 AM, Aug 06, 2019

President Donald Trump sued California Tuesday challenging a state law that requires candidates for president to disclose income tax returns before they can appear on the state's primary ballot.

The federal lawsuit from Trump and his campaign is the latest move by the President to resist efforts to turn over his tax returns.

The law adds an "unconstitutional qualification" to the fixed set of qualifications for the presidency set forward in the Constitution and violates the First Amendment, Trump's lawyer William Consovoy argued in the lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed state's "Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act" last month. "The United States Constitution grants states the authority to determine how their electors are chosen, and California is well within its constitutional right to include this requirement," he said in a statement.

Trump's team of private lawyers has been on the offensive in recent weeks filing lawsuits to thwart attempts by Democrats to see his tax returns. They've filed a handful of lawsuits in federal courts across the country, mainly to stop House Democrats from seeking the tax returns through the Trump family and company's banks, an accounting firm or under a New York state law.

Trump has lost and appealed some of the court cases, but others, such as about the state laws, have not yet been decided.

Later Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department may take a position for an appeals court on whether Trump can stop House Democrats from subpoenaing an accounting firm for his tax returns from when he was a private citizen, according to a court order.