Andrew Cuomo Signs Bill Allowing Congress To Get Trump’s New York State Tax Returns
The development comes after multiple attempts from House Democrats to obtain Trump’s federal taxes.
New York’s latest legislation adds yet another exception to the law that state tax returns should stay private — the one already in place being law enforcement members’ state taxes — by dictating that the state’s Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance must hand in information requested by the head of the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee, or Joint Committee on Taxation.
“Tax secrecy is paramount — the exception being for bonafide investigative and law enforcement purposes,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By amending the law enforcement exception in New York State tax code to include Congressional tax-related committees, this bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.”
In response, Jay Sekulow — a member of Trump’s legal team — called the move another example of “presidential harassment.”
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has repeatedly rebuffed lawmakers’ requests for Trump’s taxes, saying Congress has not given a “legitimate” reason to justify receiving them.
Given that New York is home to Trump Tower, the headquarters of the Trump Organization, House Democrats would likely gain valuable information from just the president’s state tax returns.
Cuomo emphasized he would have only backed a bill that clearly stated anybody — and not simply Trump — would have to comply with requests for state taxes from congressional committees. Nevertheless, many conservative critics said they viewed this move as specifically carried out to go after the president.
Trump has repeatedly used the fact that he is under audit from the Internal Revenue Service as an excuse for not releasing his federal taxes, although the IRS has said an audit does not prohibit any such disclosure.