A federal judge on Thursday issued an order blocking New York state from turning over President Donald Trump’s tax returns to congressional Democrats for now, should the House Ways and Means Committee request them through a newly passed New York law.
The limitation will be in place, Judge Carl Nichols wrote, while allowing New York to challenge whether Nichols’ courtroom in Washington is the proper place for this case, brought by Trump, to move forward, and in what form it could proceed.
In a court hearing on Wednesday ahead of the order, Nichols said that his intention was to ensure “Mr. Trump cannot suffer any harm” while arguments play out.
The order is based on a compromise proposal developed by New York that Trump’s attorneys told the judge on Wednesday that they could live with.
Nichols is a Trump nominee confirmed by the Senate earlier this year.
The House committee, which is a defendant in the lawsuit, objected strenuously to a different proposal from Trump that the committee be required to notify the court when making a request for the records. Blocking New York from producing the records was a way around that.
The Democratic-led Ways and Means panel escalated the fight for the President’s personal financial information last month by filing a separate lawsuit to enforce subpoenas and obtain Trump’s tax returns.
Andrew Amer, the attorney representing New York, told the judge on Wednesday that his clients believe the DC court does not have jurisdiction, and it would seek to have the case moved or dismissed.
The judge gave New York until next Friday to file its motion outlining why the case should not be heard in DC.
This story has been updated.