As the battle for President Donald Trump’s tax returns continues, the New York Senate just opened up a door that could lead to his state financial records making it into the public eye.
Per The Sacramento Bee, New York’s Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would give three congressional committees access to the president’s state tax returns. If the bill makes it to Governor Andrew Cuomo and he signs it, it would allow Congress to obtain these returns, creating a path around Trump’s current refusal to disclose them.
While the bill doesn’t mention Trump by name, NBC News reports that it would give state tax officials the power to release returns by the U.S. president and vice president, U.S. senators, the state’s governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, or comptroller, but only upon request by the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation, or the Senate Finance Committee.
Senator Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat and one of the main sponsors of the bill, says that backlash from Republicans is misguided, suggesting that the bill is business as usual.
“The power of the Congress to see your federal taxes already exists. We’re not doing anything new here.”
But Long Island Republican John Flanagan, who leads the Senate’s GOP minority, disagrees and believes the move is an invasion of privacy
“I find that extremely troubling. This is bad public policy.”
New York has passed a bill authorizing the release on Donald Trump's tax returns. It's good to see some lawmakers standing up to the President.https://t.co/UIO0ZghWX1
— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) May 8, 2019
According to NBC News, Trump’s state tax returns likely contain information that overlaps with his federal returns.
“Donald Trump has broken 40 years of political tradition by not releasing his tax returns,” said Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat who sponsored the bill.
“Now, his administration is precipitating a constitutional crisis by shielding the president from congressional oversight over those returns. Our system of checks and balances is failing. New York has a special role and responsibility to step into the breach.”
As The Inquisitr reported, a sweeping investigation into Trump’s taxes published by The New York Times revealed that, going by the losses declared on the returns in the report, Trump is America’s worst businessman.
Susanne Craig, a co-author of the report, said on Twitter that the numbers were obtained using “printouts from his official IRS tax transcripts, with figures from his federal 1040, for 85 to 94.” Not only that, the report says that the information was obtained from a source that claims to have had legal access to the returns, suggesting that the information was leaked to the Times.