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N.Y. Assembly approves bill to view Donald Trump’s tax returns

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May 22 (UPI) — New York‘s Assembly passed a bill Wednesday giving state lawmakers access to President Donald Trump‘s state tax returns, giving the legislation support in both chambers of the legislature.

The bill headed to the desk of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has indicated he plans to sign it. The state Senate voted along party lines to approve the bill earlier this month.

The legislation, which doesn’t specifically name Trump, gives the New York Department of Taxation and Finance authority to share tax returns with state lawmakers.

Trump hasn’t disclosed any tax information since announcing his candidacy in mid-2015. While he’s refused repeated calls by lawmakers to release his federal tax returns, his New York state returns could contain much of the same information.

“The TRUST Act has passed, with its full update, and when signed into law by [Cuomo], we will stand prepared as a state to empower our colleagues in the federal legislature,” New York Assemblyman David Buchwald tweeted.

At the federal level, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week again rebuffed congressional Democrats‘ efforts to get their hands on Trump‘s tax returns. He rejected a subpoena by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Mnuchin reiterated the Trump administration’s stance that the committee’s request lacks a “legitimate legislative purpose.”

During a hearing Wednesday of the House Committee on Financial Services, Mnuchin said he does not believe he is violating the law by refusing to hand over the tax documents to the U.S. Congress.

“I have been advised I am not violating the law. I would have never done anything to violate the law. Quite contrary, I was advised had I turned them over I would be violating the law,” he said.

While Congress could be helped by the New York bill, ways and means committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., said the committee still would want access to the federal data.

New York Senate Republican leader John Flanagan rebuffed Democrats‘ efforts to pass the bill.

“Senate and Assembly Democrats have wasted weeks on their singular obsession with getting a peek at President Trump‘s taxes, and in that time they’ve done absolutely nothing to help hardworking, middle-class taxpayers struggling to provide for their families and make ends meet,” he said.

The passage comes on the same day a federal judge in New York City ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capital One may turn over Trump‘s financial documents to two House committees. District Judge Edgardo Ramos disagreed with lawyers for the president and three of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, who said the House financial services and intelligence committees lacked legislative purpose for requesting the documents.

Ramos said the subpoenas are “undeniably broad but are clearly pertinent.” The Trump family plans to appeal.

The ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by the Trumps in response to two subpoenas that sought records as part of investigations into whether foreign entities have influence over the president.





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