Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) on Monday signed into law a bill that would allow certain committees of Congress the ability to request the state tax returns of any citizen of the state of New York — including President Donald Trump.
The law would grant three specific Congressional committees — the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation — the right to request tax documents for someone living in the state if their request included a “specified and legitimate legislative purpose,” the Washington Post reported.
Legally, Congress already has the right to attain Trump’s federal tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, per reporting from PBS NewsHour. But the agency and the Trump administration itself has stonewalled efforts by Democrats in Congress, who have tried to obtain them for myriad reasons.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law today authorizing the release of state tax returns to a handful of congressional committees.
This opens a new avenue for Democrats to get their hands on some of Donald Trump’s closely guarded finances https://t.co/ve0FsAr3sd
— POLITICO (@politico) July 8, 2019
Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Massachusetts) has said he likely won’t try to obtain Trump’s tax returns from New York, due to the specific nature of his committee’s work that couldn’t be completed with the state returns alone.
“This request [Neal made to the IRS] was in furtherance of an investigation into the mandatory presidential audit program at the IRS,” Neal’s spokesman, Dan Rubin, said. “State returns would not help us evaluate this program and decide if legislative action is needed to codify this program into federal law.”
Other committees may decide differently, though it’s unclear if they will pursue the avenue New York has set up for them or not.
Many Democratic lawmakers and American citizens wish to see Trump’s taxes in order to see if his financial dealings as a businessman put him in conflicted situations with the office of the presidency. In April, however, Trump said that “the people don’t care” about his taxes any longer, CNBC reported.
Trump was the first major presidential candidate to refuse to turn over any of his personal tax filings in over four decades. And it turns out, “the people” still do care.
Polling on the issue demonstrates Americans still want Democrats to pursue his taxes. A Politico/Morning Consult poll released just days before Trump said those words indicated that a majority of voters, 51 percent, supported efforts by Democrats to obtain six years of his federal tax records. Just 36 percent opposed those efforts.