Progressive groups called on Democrats in Congress to fight back on Tuesday after President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit to thwart release of his long-concealed federal and state tax returns.
"Chairman Neal should use every tool at his disposal to get answers on behalf of the public and hold Trump accountable.... Trump's brazen attempt to bury the truth should not stop Chairman Neal from doing his job."
—Ryan Thomas, Stand Up America
As The Hill reports:
The president filed the lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleging that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) is considering using a recently passed New York state law to try to get Trump's state tax returns.
"Because the Committee's jurisdiction is limited to federal taxes, no legislation could possibly result from a request for the President's state tax returns. The Committee thus lacks a legitimate legislative purpose for using the TRUST Act," the lawsuit states.
This lawsuit comes on the heels of a separate complaint filed by the Ways and Means Committee seeking Trump's federal tax returns.
Progressive groups, including Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and Stand Up America, were quick to both condemn the lawsuit and demand Democrats intensify their efforts to obtain the documents Trump has continued to conceal from the American people throughout his tenure in office.
BREAKING: Trump doubles down on hiding his tax returns.— For Tax Fairness (@4TaxFairness) July 23, 2019
There are a plethora of things he could be concealing, including foreign entanglements or tax cheating... What do YOU think he's hiding? pic.twitter.com/KTLLkmkNJj
"This lawsuit once again raises the question: what is Donald Trump so determined to hide?" said Stand Up America spokesperson Ryan Thomas, in a statement. "This is yet another desperate attempt by Donald Trump to block congressional oversight and obscure the truth from the American people about his foreign entanglements and conflicts of interest."
ATF's executive director Frank Clemente issued a similar call and also accused the president of deceiving the public.
"President Trump is taking extraordinary legal measures to block Congress and the public from seeing his tax returns. Why?" asked Clemente. "Why is he so afraid of the public learning the truth about his wealth and his finances? Every president for the past 40 years has voluntarily released their tax and financial information because they believed in honesty, transparency, and accountability. This president does not."
Clemente said that the full disclosure of Trump's financial dealings would clear up very serious and ongoing questions about the president that deserve to be answered, including "whether the president has business interests or entanglements with foreign countries that conflict with his duties as president, or whether he has used questionable and potentially illegal maneuvers to dodge paying his fair share of taxes."
The "unprecedented lawsuit" filed Tuesday "makes those questions even more curious," said Clemente, who also called on Congress to "resist this lawsuit and do everything it can to convince the court for a swift decision."
Thomas singled out Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.)—chair of the Ways and Means Committee named in Trump's lawsuit and who critics have rebuked for not doing more to get his hands on the returns—to take a more aggressive approach.
"Chairman Neal should use every tool at his disposal to get answers on behalf of the public and hold Trump accountable—and that includes the TRUST Act," Thomas said. "Trump's brazen attempt to bury the truth should not stop Chairman Neal from doing his job."