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New York Democrats have their own plan to get Trump’s tax returns

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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.

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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.”


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Trump believes white nationalism is a winning strategy — because Fox News tells him so

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Donald Trump thinks white nationalism is going to win him the 2020 election. This much is clear. Trump's racist Twitter rant on Sunday — in which he suggested that four nonwhite congresswomen, three of whom were born in the United States, are "originally" from somewhere else and should therefore "go back" — might have seemed at first like a spontaneous eruption of racist rage from the simmering bigot in the White House.

Soon, however, it became clear that this was strategic. Trump thinks it's a winning move to echo the claims of David Duke and other white nationalists who believe the United States is for white people. He justified his racism by saying that "many people agree with me," and by continuing to rave on Twitter about how the real purveyors of "racist hatred" are those who look askance at his embracing the rhetoric of Stormfront and the KKK.

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Judge boots Roger Stone off all major social media platforms in expansion of gag order

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Trump ally Roger Stone, who is due to be tried on multiple charges ranging from obstruction of justice to witness tampering later this year, got slapped this week with an expanded gag order that barred him from using all major social media platforms.

The Washington Post reports that Judge Amy Berman Jackson increased the scope of Stone's gag order and ordered him to stop communicating publicly through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Jeffrey Epstein abused new victims while out on work release as part of controversial plea deal: lawyer

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Jeffrey Epstein took advantage of his controversial lenient plea deal to sexually abuse at least one victim while out on work release, according to a victim's attorney.

Lawyer Brad Edwards said the well-connected financier was permitted to have visitors while he was supposed to be working during his 13-month jail sentence, and he said Epstein manipulated at least one person into sexual activity, reported The Daily Beast.

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