New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump’s State Tax Returns

New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump’s State Tax Returns


Lawmakers took steps to safeguard the bill from legal challenges, amending the wording so that it covered an array of public officials, federal executive branch employees and political party leaders.

Under the legislation, the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance would be permitted to release returns to the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose.”

The passage of the state tax bill is just the latest action in Albany directed at Mr. Trump, who is deeply unpopular in his home state.

On Tuesday, the Assembly passed a bill that would allow state prosecutors to pursue state charges against any person granted a presidential pardon on similar federal charges, undoing a loophole in the face of concern about Mr. Trump abusing his pardon power to indemnify former associates. The Senate had previously passed the bill to close the so-called double jeopardy loophole, and it, too, has Mr. Cuomo’s support.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, the sponsor of the state tax bill, said he envisioned the bill as a way to assist congressional oversight at a time of “White House stonewalling.” Indeed, when the bill was first introduced in early April, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said it would make the work of federal committee “a little easier to see the complete picture.”

During his campaign for president in 2016, Mr. Trump broke precedent — and set his own — by refusing to release his tax returns, citing what he said were pending federal audits. There is no law preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns under such circumstances.

More recently, the House Ways and Means Committee has sought six years of the president’s personal and business tax returns, a request that has also gone unfulfilled by Mr. Trump or the White House. The Treasury Department said last week that it would not honor a congressional subpoena to hand over the president’s returns, saying the request lacked a “legitimate legislative purpose,” though a leaked draft memorandum from the I.R.S. suggested that such logic was flawed.



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