New York Senate votes to grant access to Trump’s taxes

State Rep. Dan Huberty R-Houston

New York's Senate has approved legislation that would allow congressional investigators to get access to President Donald Trump's state tax returns, giving Democrats a potential end-run around the administration's refusal to disclose his federal returns.

White House officials didn't respond to a request for comment.

The bill that passed Wednesday would authorize state officials to release returns filed by seven different types of state and federal officeholders if requested by congressional committees.

Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) said NY had a "special responsibility to step into the breach".

"If they're not moving forward with it today it's because they don't have the votes", Turner said.

Another Senate proposal that had been considered would have been limited to returns filed by select officeholders, including USA president and vice president, US senators, the state's governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general or comptroller. Financial information in state returns is likely to mirror much of what is in his federal returns.

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The bill still has to be approved by the New York State Assembly, but that body is dominated by Democrats, making its passage all but certain. Federal law gives the three congressional committees the authority to request and inspect the tax information of any USA taxpayer from the Treasury Department, including the president's, but the Trump administration has failed to comply with requests made by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass.

State Sen. John Flanagan, leader of the chamber's Republican minority, called the legislation a "blatant political act" and said he wished New York Democrats were more focused on tax relief and creating new jobs for New Yorkers.

A collection of brief transcriptions from Trump's Internal Revenue Service tax returns, dating from 1985 to 1994, revealed that the future president lost $1.17 billion in 10 years.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signaled his support for the legislation after it was introduced in April in the state's upper chamber.

The Senate also passed a bill which will allow state prosecutors to bring charges against individuals who receive presidential pardons, but only when the president has a conflict of interest in the case, such as pardoning relatives or former employees.

A companion bill sponsored by Democratic State Assemblyman David Buchwald is traveling through the State Assembly.

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