Trump, Republican party sue over California tax return law

National
Donald Trump

FILE – In this April 15, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md. Four California voters have sued Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, to block a new state law aimed at forcing Republican President Donald Trump to release his personal income tax returns. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law last week that requires presidential candidates to file five years of their income tax returns with the California Secretary of State at least 98 days prior to the primary election. Candidates who don’t do it won’t appear on the ballot. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Trump campaign and Republican Party sued California on Tuesday over a new law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to run in the state’s primary, legislation that was aimed at prying loose President Donald Trump’s returns.

California’s law is “a naked political attack against the sitting President of the United States,” the state and national Republican parties argued in one of two lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

The law signed last week by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom requires candidates for president and governor to release five years of tax returns to appear on the state’s primary ballot, but the requirement does not extend to the general election. Trump has refused to release his returns, saying they are under audit.

The lawsuits argue the law violates the U.S. Constitution by creating an extra requirement to run for president and deprives citizens the right to vote for their chosen candidates. The Constitution puts just three requirements on presidential candidates: That they are natural born citizens, 35 or older and a U.S. resident for at least 14 years.

California is the first state to pass such a law, though many others under Democratic control have tried since Trump left office.

California holds its 2020 presidential primary on March 3. Without a serious Republican competitor, Trump would likely be able to forego the state’s primary and still win the nomination.

But the parties’ lawsuit argues it will “directly impede” Trump’s ability to secure the nomination. California provides 14% of the delegates needed to win the party’s nomination, the suit says.

Trump counsel Jay Sekulow called the law “flagrantly illegal,” and said voters already spoke in 2016 on whether Trump should release his tax returns.

“The effort to deny California voters the opportunity to cast a ballot for President Trump in 2020 will clearly fail,” Sekulow said in a statement.

It’s the latest legal battle between the Trump administration and California, which has sued the federal government more than 50 times since Trump took office.

Tax returns reveal sources of income, charitable giving, business dealings and other information that Democrats in the state Legislature say is essential for voters. Every president has released his or her tax returns since the early 1970s.

“There’s an easy fix Mr. President — release your returns as you promised during the campaign and follow the precedent of every president since 1973,” Newsom tweeted.

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, argued in its suit that Democrats are “on a crusade to obtain the President’s federal tax returns in the hopes of finding something they can use to harm him politically.”

Republicans also say keeping Trump off the ballot could depress voter turnout in the primary, hurting Republicans in other races down ticket, such as for the state Legislature. That could hurt the party’s chances of being in the general election in some races, given California’s top-two primary system that sends the two highest vote getters in the primary to the general election regardless of party.

The U.S. Supreme court has previously halted state efforts to add ballot access rules for congressional candidates. Former Gov. Jerry Brown, also a Democrat, vetoed a similar law two years ago, arguing it would create a slippery slope of trying to force candidates to release additional information to run for president.

At least two other lawsuits have already been filed.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Overcast

Abbeville

64°F Overcast Feels like 64°
Wind
9 mph SE
Humidity
91%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy skies during the evening with areas of fog developing after midnight. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 64F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
66°F Cloudy skies during the evening with areas of fog developing after midnight. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 64F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
8 mph S
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Overcast

Crowley

66°F Overcast Feels like 66°
Wind
8 mph SE
Humidity
96%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Areas of patchy fog early. Overcast with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly this evening. Low near 65F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
66°F Areas of patchy fog early. Overcast with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly this evening. Low near 65F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Wind
8 mph S
Precip
40%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Overcast

Opelousas

64°F Overcast Feels like 64°
Wind
10 mph SE
Humidity
96%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low near 65F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
66°F Cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low near 65F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
Wind
8 mph S
Precip
40%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Overcast

Breaux Bridge

66°F Overcast Feels like 66°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
93%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Areas of patchy fog early. Scattered thunderstorms early, then cloudy skies after midnight. Low around 65F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
66°F Areas of patchy fog early. Scattered thunderstorms early, then cloudy skies after midnight. Low around 65F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Wind
9 mph S
Precip
40%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Overcast

New Iberia

67°F Overcast Feels like 67°
Wind
13 mph SSE
Humidity
100%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Low 52F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%.
65°F Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Low 52F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%.
Wind
5 mph S
Precip
40%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent

Trending Stories

Sidebar