New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for allegedly failing to respond to records requests, The Hill reports.
“The agency eliminated donor disclosure requirements for tax-exempt groups & refuses to comply w/the law to explain the rationale for these changes,” James tweeted on Monday.
We’ve filed a lawsuit against the Trump Treasury Department & IRS for failing to respond to records requests as required by law.
The agency eliminated donor disclosure requirements for tax-exempt groups & refuses to comply w/the law to explain the rationale for these changes.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) May 6, 2019
“My office depends on these critical donor disclosure forms to be able to adequately oversee non-profit organizations in New York,” said James, who filed the lawsuit with New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D).
“Not only was this policy change made without notice, the Treasury and the IRS are now refusing to comply with the law to release information about the rationale for these changes. No one is above the law — not even the federal government — and we will use every tool to ensure they comply with these regulations to provide transparency and accountability.”
This lawsuit adds to the list of Democratic state attorneys who are suing the Trump administration with coordinated legal actions across state lines.
James who took office earlier this year has hit the ground running taking on Trump and mounting a fierce battle by pursuing him with the filing of this lawsuit.
At issue, in July the Treasury and the IRS published guidance that removes a requirement for certain tax-exempt groups to give the names and addresses of major donors on annual forms. Among those groups include 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations such as the National Rifle Association and American Civil Liberties Union, labor unions and chambers of commerce, the outlet reports.
The Trump administration argues that the guidance allows the privacy of those group members t to be protected and removes them from being targeted by taxpayers because of their political beliefs.
Democrats, however, says it enables foreign governments with the ability to influence U.S. politics by feeding donations to “dark money” groups.
Additionally, in March, the House Judiciary Committee launched a sweeping new probe of President Donald Trump, his White House, his campaign and his businesses. The panel is sending document requests to 81 people linked to the President and his associates.
The AP contributed to this report.