Pass the Popcorn

The New York legislature just passed a bill authorizing Congressional access to Donald Trump’s state tax returns, and Governor Andrew “Rat Faced Andy” Cuomo is expected to sign it:

New York State lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a bill that would clear a path for Congress to obtain President Trump’s state tax returns, injecting another element into a tortuous battle over the president’s refusal to release his taxes.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and regular critic of Mr. Trump’s policies and behavior, will authorize state tax officials to release the president’s state returns to any one of three congressional committees.

The returns — filed in New York, the president’s home state and business headquarters — would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, though it remained unclear whether those congressional committees would use such new power in their investigations.

The Legislature’s actions put the state in a bit of uncharted legal territory; Mr. Trump has said that he is ready to take the fight over his federal tax returns to the Supreme Court, and it seems likely that he would seek to contest New York’s maneuver.

Republicans have called the effort in Albany a “bill of attainder” — an unconstitutional piece of legislation aimed at a single person or group — while also decrying the potential invasion of privacy, suggesting that federal officials would conduct improper “fishing expeditions.”


Once signed into law by Mr. Cuomo, the legislation would require the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to release returns to the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose.” Such a request would be have to be made it writing, and only after a request for federal returns has been made to the Treasury Department.

While the bill clearly targets Donald Trump’s particular circumstances, it does not appear to my non lawyer eyes to rise to the level of a bill of attainder.

The real question is whether any of the members of the Ways and Means Committee have the stones to actually make the request, as the other two committees would have such a request blocked by Republicans.

My guess is that Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) won’t have the requisite intestinal fortitude to actually make a formal request, because Democrats.

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