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New York Gov. Cuomo Signs Law to Allow Congress Access to Trump’s State Tax Returns

New York Gov. Cuomo Signs Law to Allow Congress Access to Trump’s State Tax Returns

Cuomo claimed the law “would help Congress ‘fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.'”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law on Monday morning that allows Congress to access President Donald Trump’s state tax returns. From The New York Times:

The bill requires state tax officials to release the president’s state returns for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose” on the request of the chair of one of three congressional committees: the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation.

It is effective immediately, though it is unclear whether it would be challenged by the Trump administration, or used by the congressional committees; the Ways and Means Committee, for instance, has said previously that it remains focused on pursuing Mr. Trump’s federal tax information.

Still, the state tax documents from New York — the president’s home state and business headquarters — would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, tax experts say.

Cuomo claimed the bill “would help Congress ‘fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.'”

Republicans described the law as unconstitutional since it aims at only one person “as well as a potential invasion of privacy.” Cuomo replied that “tax secrecy is paramount” except for “being for bona fide investigative and law enforcement purposes.”

The White House has not responded to the new law.

Congressional Democrats have tried for years to obtain Trump’s federal tax returns, personal and business.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) insisted he will not request Trump’s New York state tax returns “because he feels doing so would harm his efforts at obtaining Trump’s federal returns.” He believes this route would strengthen Trump’s argument that the Democrats are “on a political fishing expedition.”

Neal already “sued the IRS and the Treasury Department for those federal returns.” Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin has denied the Democrats requests for the documents because the request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”

Something tells me if Neal does not succeed with the lawsuit he will cave and ask for the state tax returns.


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casualobserver | July 8, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Dems continue to try as hard as they can to reelect Trump.

Garbage law, garbage politician.

Historical Memo for Cuomo & Co.:

Bills of attainder are specifically targeted toward one individual or organization are constitutional as h*ll.

“Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed.”

    puhiawa in reply to MarkJ. | July 8, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Might be a Fifth argument also.

    dystopia in reply to MarkJ. | July 8, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    One problem with that is that proverbial tower of jello Chief Justice John Roberts. Interesting that he referred to the Constitutional Taxing authority in upholding the individual mandate but he avoided the clear text of the Constitution in his census dissembling.

    The only thing you can count on with Roberts is that you can’t count on him.

    snopercod in reply to MarkJ. | July 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    We know that the U.S. Congress is forbidden from passing a Bill of Attainder, but are the States? A quick search of the NY Constitution shows no such prohibition.

    stevewhitemd in reply to MarkJ. | July 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    While I agree with the sentiment, I suspect Article I, section 9 binds the Congress and not the state legislatures. Though if we can incorporate the amendments to bind the states, why not this as well?

    Carl in reply to MarkJ. | July 8, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Plausibly, Bills of Attainder apply here–or at least one could say penumbras of Article I, Section 9 apply. Except that Article I deals with the power of Congress, not the States. In order for the incorporation of Bill of Attainder, it would need to violate the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment by taking away life, liberty, or property without due process. You might also say that a congressional subpoena is due process for the discovery of evidence.It might be easier to claim that a law aimed at one man violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

    azervin in reply to MarkJ. | July 8, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    “NO STATE shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the EQUAL PROTECTION of the laws.”

    A state cannot pass a law denying one person the right to confidentiality of their taxes while giving it to everyone else. That’s a CLEAR violation of the equal protection clause.

2smartforlibs | July 8, 2019 at 1:15 pm

If this target TURmp singularly it’s illegal if you don’t I want SOn of Mario that pious to turn his over.

“specified and legitimate legislative purpose”

1) Who decides?
2) What is the criteria for a decision?
3) Are all Clinton returns available when he GOP controls the House? Or, would the law be repealed within a week?

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to TX-rifraph. | July 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    1. JarJar Nadler and Pencil-Neck Schiff come to mind. As well as Nancy “Botox” Pelosi, Chuckie Schumer, and Mad Maxine Waters

    2. No criteria. Liberals say so and that’s good enough for you.

    3. Of course, once all of Trump’s state taxes are turned over to the relevant “investigative committee” (and leaked to the press of course) the NY legislature will quietly and quickly repeal the law as to prevent it from being used against the democratic party.

It is the job of state and federal tax authorities to audit tax returns. If there are problems, they will prosecute. If there are no tax problems, the returns should remain strictly private. Any tax information leaked should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The only fair alternative would be to make everybody’s tax return publicly available.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Elric. | July 8, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    No, the only “fair” thing to do is make every politicians tax returns public documents that can be examined by anyone that requests to see them. Take the veil off the whole thing and I’m betting the liberal democrats don’t come off any better then Trump. So what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Release ’em all and let the chips fall where they may.

These people don’t realize there’s a difference between tax returns and financial statements.

    artichoke in reply to Obie1. | July 8, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    They know very well. And even though Trump was not required to provide tax returns, they want to go fishing in them anyway using any loopholes, cracks in the system, spies in the system, etc.

From the 1970s ad campaign, “I love New York”

where your privacy can be invaded if it’s for the benefit of Democrat government


where you can kill both your unborn and born children,

    jolanthe in reply to fscarn. | July 8, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    The new push to legalize prostitution in NY makes the old slogan “I love New York” especially hilarious.

Someone seriously needs to explain the law of hand grenades to the Left. Once you pull the pin, it is no longer your friend. How did the #metoo work out for them? I think the current score is Trump: 0, Leftists: 100

At some point we may also need to bring up the law of tracers, which is turns out, work both ways.

Just imagine if just 10% of the effort expended going after Trump had been spent investigating Captain Zero and his minions . . . the mind reels . . .

That means you don’t have to file NY taxes. It’s unconstitutional to make you testify against yourself.

Hmm, unconstitutional, no grounds for it

These people are so insane

When President Trump is done in 2024 I hope he moves his entire empire to Florida

I know NY has some insane tax laws even if you leave the state, but I am sure President Trumps Lawyer’s can figure it out

    DanJ1 in reply to gonzotx. | July 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I fully expect him to begin moving his assets out of New York immediately. I also expect many other billionaires to do the same now that they know that any politician in New York can order the release of their tax information on a whim. This decision will New Yorkers hundreds of millions in lost State and local tax revenue. They are already reeling at the lost state and local tax deductions. This will be the camel that broke the last straw.

stevewhitemd | July 8, 2019 at 3:12 pm

When do we get to see the good governor’s tax returns? I’m sure a Senate committee can gin up an excuse…

I think the Senate should demand Jerry Wadler’s tax returns. He is from New York. For the exact same reasons used by the Democrats.

Does a bill of attainder apply on the state level?

You would think that the NY would have competent attorneys review the law before passing the law.

1) US title 26 section 6103(f) only allows the secretary of the Treasury to release a tax return to the Senate finance committee or to the House ways and means committee. This provision does not allow the release from a state taxing authority. The congressmen on the committee can not disclosure any info to any other congressman who is not on the committee, nor to any staffer, nor to their spouse, etc.

The speech and debate clause does not provide and exception to the disclosure since the clause specifically exempts treason and felonies.

2) Sections 7431 Provides for civil penalties for the disclosure of tax return information.

3) Section 7231 provides that the authorized disclosure of tax return information is a felonly.

A State law does not override the aforementioned sections.

On the other hand, would love to be the NY tax commission employee that gets fired for refusing to perform an illegal act. Big bucks in damages.

    jakee308 in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 8, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Why? They didn’t bother when writing his gun laws. They even screwed the Police and made limitations that were impossible to keep.

    SDN in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 8, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    They aren’t disclosing his Federal tax info; they are disclosing his NY State tax forms. Two different sets of forms that won’t have the same info on them.

I want to see the Tax records of everyone who is screaming to see Trumps! We can start with Heir Cuomo!

This sounds suspiciously similar to a Bill of Attainder which is specifically prohibited under the US Constitution.

Plus, throw in the kitchen sink elasticity of the 14th Amendment to defend against a legislature targetting the smallest of minorities – an individual – by depriving equal protection, and this Coumo clown is exposed as nothing more than petty tyrant.

I’m no constitutional scholar but it seems to me this would or could fail under an equal protection argument. Everyone’s tax returns are private EXCEPT president Trump. Doesn’t seem to me to qualify as offering equal protection under the laws of New York. If the law made any federal politician’s tax returns discoverable by Congress that would stand a bit more of chance, but even that would cause a double standard for non-New York resident politicians. Also, the fact that it applies only to a federal employee/politician and NOT to state of New York politicians seems suspect to me.

His Dad at least put a veneer of respectability on an center of thugishness.

Andrew doesn’t even pretend. And he looks the part. One look at him and you know he’s a criminal and vicious.

Like the Difference between John Gotti vs Tony Montana.

Does New York have term limits? New York has been poorly served by the vindictive tyrant.

So by the rules the Left uses, a friendly judge in upstate NY should immediately be contacted to put a legal injunction against the state with regards to the release of private information et al… until such time as the whole process works its way through his court say in about ten years or so.

It’s a Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice Country.

That said: fighting for reproductive rites. #NoEuphemisms

How about the Fourth Amendment? Did they build procedural safeguards into the legislation? (Being NY, and knowing some of their recent history, I would guess the answer to that is NO.)

Can we get the Clinton’s and their foundation (including Chelsea)?

So when do we recognize another coup attempt? Or is it the same one?

The constitutional prohibition on ex-postfacto laws would seem to limit NY to future returns.

Well, we may as well have a look at Gov. Cuomo’s taxes while we are at it.

The definition of “return information” as defined under section 6103(b)(3) is very broad and clearly encompasses a state return. The definition is so broad that it includes any disclosure of your SSN, and would include a disclosure of a single 1099.

This NY law provides strong support for a flat tax as the income tax is a weapon to be used against one’s political enemies and not a “fair” way to raise revenue. Perhaps this could be a GOP position for the elections.

I believe the best laws that would apply to to this would be those concerning “Unintended Consequences.” The Republican-controlled Senate should immediately subpoena NY State tax returns for ALL New York politicians. What’s good for the goose…

The law ins nonsense on the face of it. What “legitimate legislative purpose” could their ever be for releasing anyone’s tax return?

Would eliminating a deduction used by a political opponent be a “legitimate legislative purpose”? I don’t think so.

Our country survived fine for over 100 years without a Progressive Income Tax. I hope this causes a backlash to eliminate all income taxes!.

Let’s talk about fairness.

Why should the rate of federal income tax I pay be more or less than you pay? Is just because they can suck more money out of one of us a good reason for taxing us differently?

If we are all equal, then shouldn’t we all pay the same dollar amount?