New York Passed a Law Allowing Congress to Access Trump’s Tax Returns

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on Monday.

Dan Herrick / Zuma

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed a bill Monday to allow Congress to access President Donald Trump’s state tax returns.

The bill requires the state to release the president’s state tax returns—along with the returns for certain other federal officeholders—for any legitimate purpose upon request from the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation.

As Mother Jones reporter Russ Choma wrote when the New York state legislature approved the bill in May:

Just days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused—in apparent violation of federal law—to give Trump’s tax filings to a congressional committee, lawmakers in Trump’s home state stepped in with a possible solution. On Wednesday, the New York state Senate passed a bill that would allow state officials to provide Congress with the state tax returns of seven different types of state and federal elected officials—including the president.

Federal tax law already allows congressional tax committees to obtain a copy of any American’s tax returns—and such a request has been made by the Democratically controlled House Ways and Means Committee. But on Monday, Mnuchin said he would not permit the Internal Revenue Service to comply. The committee requested the documents as part of what members said was an investigation into how the IRS audits presidents, but the administration has argued that the move was an unfair, politically motivated attempt to embarrass the president. 

The bill is effective immediately, according to the New York Timesbut it is unclear whether Congress will take advantage of the new law.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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