Cuomo Signs Bill Allowing US Congress To Access Trump's NY Tax Returns

Saul Bowman
July 10, 2019

Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation requiring state officials to hand over President Donald Trump's tax returns upon request from congressional committees, providing House Democrats another avenue to obtain financial information the White House has refused to release.

Should a congressional committee decide to utilize the law, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told CNN Monday the administration would push back.

"This bill gives Congress the ability to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law", said Cuomo, a Democrat.

All sides expect legal challenges and requests for injunctions, meaning it could be many months before any state tax returns are handed over.

Before the legislation was signed into law, NY state Sen.

The bill would allow the state's Department of Taxation and Finance commissioner to release state tax returns to Congress' Ways & Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation. Republican state lawmakers say their concerns about the new law go far beyond Trump, arguing that any official from NY could be targeted.

The 37 subpoenas seek information from Trump's businesses including the Trump organization, Trump Tower, his hotels in NY and Washington, D.C., and his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida related to a case by 200 Democrats alleging the businesses violate the constitutional ban on gifts or payments from foreign governments.

But now, NY has given Congress a new route to #ReleaseTheReturns and get answers for the American people-all they have to do is ask.

Democrats have said they have the authority to seek Trump's tax returns, citing the century-old IRS code 6103 that stipulates when the Ways and Means Committee requests an individual's tax returns, the agency "shall furnish" them.

Additionally, if the House Ways and Means Committee tried to obtain Trump's state taxes through the NY law, it would likely trigger a lengthy legal debate over its authority to do so.

"No one person - no matter what office they might hold - is above the law", said Sen. "We will respond to this as appropriate", he said.

Still, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), is not inclined to use it, as he believes the bill may hurt the Democrats' chances of obtaining Trump's federal returns-returns that Neal recently sued the IRS and Treasury Department for access to.

Neal has issued subpoenas for six years of Trump's tax documents, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has so far resisted, saying Congress' request "lacks a legitimate legislative goal".

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