The Trump administration on Tuesday declined to provide a public record of the president’s tax return.
The request came in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The New York Times on behalf of the newspaper’s editors, who were seeking to obtain the president, his administration and anyone else with knowledge of his tax returns.
The White House said in a statement that it had “received a request for the records and will continue to work with The New American to provide that information to the public.”
In a letter sent to the New York attorney general, The Times’ lawyers sought records about the president and any of his aides that had access to the president or anyone with a direct connection to him.
The letter also sought copies of any tax returns the president has filed since his inauguration, and any other information the president may have that could shed light on the finances of the Trump Organization.
The Times said in the letter that it would be releasing the records on Oct. 29.
“The administration’s refusal to provide any information regarding President Trump is deeply troubling and has made it very difficult for journalists, citizens and the public to obtain a full and accurate picture of his finances,” James Risen, the Times’ chief investigative reporter, said in an emailed statement.
The administration has long sought to shield Trump from scrutiny over his finances, even as investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and potential ties between his administration, his campaign and Russia continue.
The president has said that he does not owe the U.S. government money and has said he does pay taxes.
Trump, who has long denied having any business dealings with Russia, has said in interviews and tweets that he was “under audit” for his business dealings and that he has been paying “in full” his taxes.
The tax-exempt status that allows the president to avoid paying taxes for up to 10 years has been under scrutiny in recent months, as lawmakers have questioned his financial transparency.
Some lawmakers and ethics experts have also raised questions about the way the president is able to avoid disclosure of his taxes and how that could impact the investigations.