In Congress, the legal fight for President Donald Trump’s tax returns is about to kick into high gear, with the House Ways and Means Committee invoking a federal law to instruct the IRS to hand over six years of the president’s taxes.
But that might not be the only thing Trump has to worry about. Because according to The New York Times, Democrats in the New York state legislature are trying to get his state-level returns in a different way:
Under a bill that is scheduled to be introduced this week, the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance would be permitted to release any state tax return requested by leaders of three congressional committees for any “specific and legitimate legislative purpose.”
State Sen. Brad Hoylman has confirmed that this bill was designed with Trump in mind, calling the legislation “a safety valve for any attempt by the White House to block the Congress from doing this at the federal level … we’re creating a parallel track.”
Because the Trump Organization is headquartered at Trump Tower in New York City, and because many of the Trump family’s business holdings are in New York, it is likely that the president’s state tax returns will contain most of the same information as his federal tax returns.
Trump, who once promised to release his returns but who has perpetually claimed they are under audit as an excuse not to follow through, is keen to fight any attempt to make his finances public. He reportedly got Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to fast-track the confirmation of the IRS counsel before the attorney general, to ensure he had an ally against efforts to disclose his taxes. White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has proclaimed that Democrats will “never” see Trump’s tax returns, “nor should they.”