Trump Sues California Over Law That Would Force The Release Of His Tax Returns

Taxes

Topline: In the latest move to shield his tax returns from Democrats, President Donald’s Trump’s campaign has sued California in an attempt to block a law that would require Trump to release his tax returns if he wants to appear on the state’s 2020 primary ballot.

  • The lawsuit argues that the law sets an unconstitutional requirement for the presidency, calling it part of “the Democrats’ ongoing crusade to obtain the President’s federal tax returns in the hopes of finding something they can use to harm him politically.”
  • The Republican National Committee and right-wing group Judicial Watch have also filed lawsuits against the state this week.
  • Since it would apply to the 2020 presidential primary, the aim of the lawsuits are to block the law from ever taking effect.

Chief Critic: California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press release that the state has a “moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence.”

News Peg: SB-27, which was signed by California governor Gavin Newsom last week, requires that candidates running in the state’s presidential or gubernatorial primary release five years of federal tax returns in order to appear on the ballot. 

The law applies only to the California primary because the state doesn’t have control over ballot procedures for the general election. 

Key Background: Trump is one of two presidents over the past 40 years who hasn’t voluntarily released his tax returns (Gerald Ford, who never ran for president but took over when Nixon resigned, released summary tax data, not his full tax returns). Democrats have been clamoring to get Trump’s records, but so far their efforts have failed.

What’s Next: If the law isn’t struck down, it’s unclear if Trump will comply. Without a serious primary challenger, Trump could forgo California’s delegates and still earn the party’s nomination.

Further Reading: Read the full lawsuit here.

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