Democrats in Congress have been laboring to get their hands on President Donald Trump’s tax returns but so far the IRS and Treasury Department have refused to hand over the information. Now, the state of New York might release President Trump’s tax returns.
Most states require businesses and persons to fill out state tax forms along with their federal taxes. As such, New York has much of Donald Trump’s tax information on hand, and the New York State Senate passed a bill that would allow the New York Department of Taxation and Finance commissioner to release state tax returns.
However, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation must request the returns and specify legitimate legislative purpose. With Democrats in charge of the House, the Ways and Means Committee could request the tax returns.
John Flanagan, who is the minority leader in the State Senate, blasted the move as a “blatantly political act” and alleged that Democrats weren’t focusing on the issues faced by New Yorkers. President Trump is one of only a few presidential candidates in recent history to not release his tax returns.
Congress has already requested President Trump’s tax returns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin turned down the request, arguing that Democrats had no legislative purpose. However, if Democrats can successfully argue that they do indeed have a legitimate purpose, Mnuchin could find himself facing jail time. The relevant law reads: “Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.”
As such, Mnuchin could find himself in contempt of Congress. However, Mnuchin has proven to be one of the most loyal members of Trump’s cabinet.