A federal judge on Monday dismissed President Trump’s lawsuit against New York officials that was aimed at preventing the release of his tax returns.
Judge Carl Nichols handed down a 19-page ruling, finding the US District Court in Washington, D.C., does not have jurisdiction to hear the case.
Trump sued New York’s attorney general, tax commissioner, and the House and Ways Means Committee in July, seeking an injunction to block the application of a New York state law known as the TRUST Act that could allow the Democratic-controlled House to obtain the tax returns.
The House committee and its chairman, Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts, have not requested Trump’s New York state tax returns. But the lawsuit was filed preemptively, citing concerns that the panel could use the TRUST Act to try to procure Trump’s state returns.
Trump has refused to release his tax returns since he was a presidential candidate and is the only modern president who hasn’t made that financial information public.
The TRUST Act, which was signed into law in July 2019, allows state officials to access the tax returns of certain government officials, including the president, if the tax returns are requested by a congressional tax committee and have been requested for a legitimate legislative purpose.
Trump’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, said he was reviewing the ruling.
New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, said in a statement that she was ‘‘pleased with the court’s conclusion.’’
In a separate case, a federal appeals court ruled earlier this month that Trump’s tax returns can be turned over to New York prosecutors by his personal accountant in response to a grand jury subpoena.
Trump’s public appearances become a referendum
President Trump had just begun to speak on an outdoor stage here at Madison Square Park in front of a couple of hundred military veterans when the whistles and catcalls could be heard from beyond the security perimeter where crowds had gathered, along with a chant: ‘‘Lock him up!’’
High above, in the windows of the tall buildings overlooking the park, a handful of makeshift signs were also visible: ‘‘IMPEACH’’ and ‘‘Dump Trump.’’
If Trump had hoped to kick off his hometown’s annual Veterans Day parade with an apolitical tribute to the armed forces, he instead was treated to another reminder that virtually every one of his public appearances has turned into a referendum on his presidency amid the mounting impeachment inquiry by House Democrats.
From loud boos at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., last month to a huge ovation at a college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., this past weekend, Trump has faced a real-time voice vote from the American electorate, with nearly a year to go before ballots are cast on Election Day.
‘‘It’s an indication of just how deeply polarizing President Trump is that he has to kind of carefully cherry-pick stadiums or universities or venues because chances are he’s going to get booed, or the boos will be louder than the cheers,’’ said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University.
As the first sitting president to participate in the Veterans Day parade in New York, Trump mostly stayed away from politics during his remarks, though he highlighted the US Special Forces operation last month that ended in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which has become part of his campaign stump speech.
After presiding over a wreath-laying and a moment of silence, Trump returned to his motorcade, which sped down the parade route along Fifth Avenue and pulled up to Trump Tower.
The president entered his private residence before the parade began.
Veteran N.Y. Republican in House says he will retire
Representative Peter T. King, the longest-serving Republican in New York’s congressional delegation, said Monday that he would retire, joining a growing exodus of Republicans from Congress before the 2020 elections.
King, who is serving his 14th term in the House, said in a statement that his decision was primarily motivated by the desire to end the weekly commute to Washington after nearly three decades and have “more flexibility” to spend time with his children and grandchildren.
But in an interview, King conceded that the toxic political environment in Washington and the uncertainties of a coming impeachment proceeding against President Trump had underscored his sense that it was time to leave.
“Something was building for a while,” King said. The difficulties of coordinating his Thanksgiving and Christmas travel plans with family amid the unknowns of the impeachment battle, he said, “somehow became like a metaphor” fueling his decision.
The exit of King, 75, comes as a growing number of Republicans have decided to retire rather than seek reelection as they eye the grim political realities for their party, including the prospect of sharing a ticket with an unpopular president. King is the 20th House Republican to depart Congress at the end of 2020 because of retirement or seeking another office.
New York Times
McConnell: Bevin ‘had a good four years,’ but probably lost
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin, ‘‘had a good four years,’’ but he says a review of Bevin’s narrow reelection defeat is unlikely to change the outcome.
Bevin trailed Democrat Andy Beshear by about 5,000 votes in the Nov. 5 election. A recanvass of votes is scheduled Thursday.
McConnell said he’s ‘‘sorry Matt came up short.’’ He said that the recanvass is unlikely to change the election results, and that ‘‘barring some dramatic reversal on the recanvass, we’ll have a different governor in three weeks.’’
Bevin has refused to concede and cited voting irregularities in the governor’s race but has not provided evidence. Some Republican leaders have said Bevin should accept the results of the recanvass if Beshear’s lead holds.
‘‘My first election was almost the same number of votes that Beshear won by. We had a recanvass, added them up, it didn’t change, and we all moved on,’’ McConnell said.
McConnell was asked whether he was concerned about the results of the governor’s race ahead of his own reelection effort next year. Republicans won all the down-ticket races in Kentucky, despite Bevin’s apparent defeat.
‘‘Well, we’ll find out, because the 2020 election is underway already,’’ McConnell said.