Trump, Republican National Committee Sue Over California’s Presidential Tax Disclosure Law

The law requires all presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release five years’ worth of tax returns in order to appear on California’s primary ballot

A week after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that requires presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release five years’ worth of tax returns in order to be eligible for California’s primary ballot, President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee have responded with a pair of lawsuits.

Filed in the Eastern District of California on Tuesday, the RNC’s lawsuit against Newsom and Secretary of State Anthony Padilla argues that the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act is “unconstitutional” and “a naked political attack against the sitting President of the United States,” according to the complaint. Trump’s lawsuit, filed against Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, says that the law “violates the First Amendment as it singles out President Trump because he is a Republican and a political opponent,” further arguing that the legislation is an act of retaliation against Trump “because of his policy positions, his political beliefs, and his protected speech, including the positions he took in the 2016 campaign.”

The lawsuits come a day after Judicial Watch, a conservative group, also sued Padilla over the same legislation on behalf of four California plaintiffs.

Unlike most recent presidents (aside from Gerald Ford in 1976), Trump has consistently refused to disclose his tax returns and has similarly sued other state officials who have attempted to force his hand. Last month, the president filed a lawsuit in New York over legislation that would allow three congressional tax committees to request his state income tax returns.

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

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