New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Monday against the Treasury Department and IRS following the two agencies’ lack of response to her request for information on their guidance reducing donor disclosure requirements for certain tax-exempt groups.
“My office depends on these critical donor disclosure forms to be able to adequately oversee non-profit organizations in New York,” James said in a statement.
“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.”
The guidance in the lawsuit, which was released in July, eases certain requirements on tax-exempt groups – such as the National Rifle Association, the American Civil Liberties Union and labor unions – to provide the names and addresses of major donors on annual forms
While the guidance has been praised by the Trump administration and a number of congressional Republicans as a win for taxpayer privacy, Democrats argue it makes it easier for foreign nations to influence U.S. politics by using “dark money” donations.
The lawsuit by James, a Democrat who took office in January, is the latest move by the New York AG to go after the Trump administration’s policies and the president’s own business dealings.
The attorney general’s office said last week that it is investigating allegations that immigrants who entered the country illegally and worked at Trump’s Westchester golf course were bilked out of pay.
James has sued Trump over his charitable foundation and is investigating allegations that Trump exaggerated his wealth to obtain loans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.