A new bill passed in the NY state legislature would curb President Donald Trump's ability to abuse his pardoning power in order to hinder investigations into potential criminal misconduct. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also indicated he would sign the bill, which was passed by a margin of 90-52 in the General Assembly, into law.
Earlier this month, the Treasury Department refused to provide the House Ways and Means Committee Trump's taxes, claiming the request from the committee chair, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), was unlawful.
Trump has broken presidential precedent by refusing to release his federal tax returns, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week told House Democrats that he would not comply with a subpoena for the documents, which would shed light on Trump's personal and business financial interests. A spokesman for Cuomo said the governor supports the principle behind the bill, but will carefully look over the bill before making a decision, according to The AP. Hoylman co-sponsored the bill with state Assemblymember David Buchwald.
The tax filings of President Trump and all public elected officials in NY will be fair game for congressional Democrats under a new law.
The New York state Senate passed the legislation, titled the TRUST Act, earlier this month.
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While it does not mention Trump or anyone else specifically, the legislation would make his tax returns, as well as the Trump Organization's returns, up for grabs.
But Republicans argue Democrats were merely targeting Trump and losing sight of NY issues, like high taxes and crumbling infrastructure.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he wouldn't comply with a congressional subpoena seeking six years of the president's tax returns, in part because the request "lacks a legitimate legislative objective".
While a focus of Democrats at the federal level has been Trump's alleged attempts to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, the president has also been involved in a number of scandals tracing back to his days as a private citizen in NY. "In order to circumvent this stonewalling, NY lawmakers are providing a new avenue for the House Ways and Means Committee to obtain these crucial financial documents". The revisions would not change most of that, but they would allow NY prosecutors to pursue investigations into pardoned individuals who worked in a president's administration, campaign, transition team or a non-profit or business headed by a president if a crime occurred in the state of NY.
If Congress does request and obtain Mr. Trump's state tax returns, that doesn't mean the public gets to see them.