New York, New York – August 5, 2019 – New York attorney Sean O’Loughlin announced today that recent federal and state government attempts to compel the production President Trump’s individual federal and state tax returns run afoul of our Constitutional Law.
Recent House of Representatives’ attempt to secure President Trump’s federal individual tax returns pursuant to an obscure unchallenged 1924 tax law runs afoul of the Supreme Court decision Watkins v. United States (Supreme Court 1957) in which the Supreme Court specifically stated “[w]e start with several basic premises on which there is general agreement. The power of the Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process. That power is broad. It encompasses inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws, as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. It includes surveys of defects in our social, economic or political system for the purpose of enabling the Congress to remedy them. It comprehends probes into departments of the Federal Government to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste. But, broad as is this power of inquiry, it is not unlimited. There is no general authority to expose the private affairs of individuals without justification in terms of the functions of the Congress…we have no doubt that there is no congressional power to expose for the sake of exposure. The public is, of course, entitled to be informed concerning the workings of its government. That cannot be inflated into a general power to expose where the predominant result can only be an invasion of the private rights of individuals.”
Privacy rights are again tested with a new law in New York – the Trust Act – allowing the release of the President’s individual New York State tax returns to the House of Representatives upon request. This new law – the Trust Act -runs afoul of the recent Supreme Court decision Timothy Ivory Carpenter v. United States (Supreme Court 2018) in which the Supreme Court stated “[b]ut this Court has never held that the Government may subpoena third parties for records in which the suspect has a reasonable expectation of privacy… “[w]e hold only that a warrant is required in the rare case where the suspect has a legitimate privacy interest in records held by a third party.””
Finally, California’s new law requiring the release of tax returns to participate in the Presidential primaries run afoul to the Supreme Court decision United States v. Classic (Supreme Court 1941) in which the Supreme Court stated “[w]here the state law has made the primary an integral part of the procedure of choice, or where, in fact, the primary effectively controls the choice, the right of the elector to have his ballot counted at the primary is likewise included in the right protected by Article I, § 2. And this right of participation is protected just as is the right to vote at the election, where the primary is by law made an integral part of the election machinery…[u]nless the constitutional protection of the integrity of ‘elections’ extends to primary elections, Congress is left powerless to effect the constitutional purpose, and the popular choice of representatives is stripped of its constitutional protection…”
Since Tax Returns contain private information and filing tax returns is mandatory, I conclude that recent targeted federal and state attempts to compel production of President Trump’s individual federal and state tax returns run afoul of our Constitutional Law. I strongly disagree with all negative political messages and tactics from all sides. The above analysis is not about politics but rather, the above analysis is about preserving our Constitutional rights.