Judge may block NY from handing over Trump tax returns for now

A federal judge signaled Wednesday that he plans to prevent New York from immediately handing over President Donald Trump’s state tax returns to congressional Democrats for the time being.

Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court in Washington, DC, said he wants to make sure that “Mr. Trump cannot suffer any harm” while arguments play out.

Trump’s attorneys filed a motion earlier this month seeking to prevent New York from releasing, and Congress from obtaining, the President’s state tax returns under a newly passed New York state law.

Nichols, a Trump appointee, said in the Wednesday hearing that he anticipates issuing an order soon that would allow New York to present arguments that the matter should be heard in a different court. While that plays out, New York would be prevented from releasing the President’s state tax returns, if it receives a request from Congress. New York said it would be willing to delay responding to any request for seven days until after the jurisdiction question is settled.

The judge was stern, telling the attorneys representing the House Ways and Means Committee that he expects Democratic Chairman Richard Neal to hold off on making any request until he issues his order.

“I continue to expect that while I have this under advisement actions won’t be taken to moot this,” Nichols said.

The judge said he will consider the matter Wednesday night and expects to issue an order soon.