The critic repeats the lawsuits against the disclosure of Trump's financial information



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Donald Trump on stage

The latest financial news released by President Donald Trump has revealed a decline in revenue at its Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. | Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Legal

By JOSH GERSTEIN

President Donald Trump faces a new lawsuit accusing him of concealing his personal debts by burying them among his company's financial obligations in annual reporting forms.

The suit, filed Sunday by Washington lawyer Jeffrey Lovitky, is a resumption of a lawsuit filed in 2017, alleging similar allegations to Trump. The problem is that the president mixes his personal debts with the debts of his business on his disclosure forms, making it impossible to say how much he owes personally and to whom.

History continues below

The first action was dismissed after a District Court judge ruled that the consolidation of his personal and professional debts was authorized under federal law and regulation.

A Federal Court of Appeal agreed that the complaint was flawed, but left open the question of whether Trump's disclosures were legally acceptable. The circuit board of the Supreme Court ruled that, to the extent that the lawsuit was challenging a financial disclosure, Trump had been filed as a candidate, while he was not yet president, the case was poorly designed as such against Trump in his official capacity as President.

In an attempt to avoid this obstacle, the new lawsuit highlights Trump's personal financial information return forms filed last May and earlier this week after he took office.

Lovitky alleges that not only do the forms scramble Trump's debt details, but they prevent the public from learning if a Trump lender suddenly agrees to forgo any recourse against Trump for money from his companies.

"Due to the lack of disclosure of personal responsibilities, the applicant will not be able to assess the nature of any changes in these responsibilities that may be reflected in subsequent disclosure statements," says the new lawsuit brought before the US District Court in Washington.

"If a lender sought to obtain favor from the president by removing his responsibility for one of the loans identified in the May 2018 report, it would be impossible to detect this information in subsequent reports of the president, because it is impossible to which of the commitments listed in the May 2018 report were personal to the president, "adds the 21-page complaint.

A White House spokesman did not comment immediately on the suit late Sunday night.

Trump's latest financial disclosure, signed Wednesday and released on Thursday, showed a drop in revenue in his Mar-a-Lago complex last year, at around $ 22 million, up from about $ 25 million in 2017 He has reported more than $ 315 million in debt on the new form.

The new lawsuit aimed at clarifying Trump's financial disclosure comes as Democrats in the House insisted that they have access to information about Trump's finances and that he was gathering a press in court to block the investigations.

Lovitky also filed a separate suit in 2017 to challenge the financial disclosure forms filed by Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and her son-in-law, Jared Kushner, both of whom are also senior advisers to the president. According to this action, the forms would not provide sufficient details of the holdings of various investment vehicles. This case was put on hold during President Trump's trial.

White House spokespeople noted that all the forms Lovitky is challenging have been officially approved and certified by the Office of Government Ethics.

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