A day after New York’s legislature passed a law empowering state law enforcement officials to effectively circumvent presidential pardons, the Democratically controlled Assembly and Senate passed another bill aimed squarely at the presidency, allowing the state’s tax authority to hand over politicians’ state tax returns — including President Trump’s — to Congress.
The move comes as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has repeatedly refused to comply with a request and subpoena from the House Ways and Means Committee for Trump’s tax returns, as well as the returns of some of his business entities.
That committee did not request Trump’s state returns, but that didn’t stop state legislators from pursuing the legislation to provide them, should Congress ask. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is expected to sign the measure into law.
The legislature’s bill would allow the state’s commissioner of taxation and finance to give certain officials’ and related entities’ tax returns (specifically, returns from the president, vice president, members of New York’s congressional delegation, the president’s executive staff, anyone in a Senate-confirmed position, state and local officials and political party chairs) to congressional committees that deal with tax issues, upon request.
The bill requires the redaction of federal return information, limiting its immediate usefulness to the House Ways and Means Committee, which has requested Trump’s federal returns. But the state returns provide similar information and could prove useful to Democrats’ investigations.
Assemblyman David Buchwald, who sponsored the bill, said in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday that it was an example of “the federal system that we treasure.”
“The only thing I know for certain is that the President seems to be hiding something,” he said. “The American people, through their elected representatives in Congress, have a right to understand what that is.”