Citing the White House's "stonewalling" ofto obtain President Trump's tax returns, Democratic lawmakers in New York's state legislature are spearheading a new effort to try to release the president's state tax information to Congress.
"Here you have a president who is stonewalling the U.S. Congress, a co-equal branch of government undertaking its important oversight responsibilities," New York state senator Brad Hoylman told CBSN Thursday. "Lo and behold, we have Donald Trump's tax returns here in the state of New York and we can provide them to Congress if the IRS, if the Treasury Department won't."
Hoylman, who represents a Manhattan district, introduced legislation that would allow the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to send Congress state tax returns requested by three Congressional committees for a "specific and legitimate legislative purpose." He said Mr. Trump's tax returns in New York will have some of the same information found in the president's federal tax returns.
"Donald Trump broke 40 years of political tradition by not providing his tax returns to the American public before he was elected president. And now, he claims that is a matter of the fact that he's been audited," Hoylman added. "That really doesn't pass the laugh test in the current political climate when we know the president may have something to hide from the American people."
Hoylman's bill has been backed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as by leadership in the New York legislature, where Democrats have majorities in both chambers.
The Internal Revenue Services (IRS), overseen by the Treasury Department, missed the Wednesday deadline set by the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, to release Mr. Trump's tax returns. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called the request by congressional Democrats anthat raises questions about the scope of Congress' "investigative authority" and lawmakers' "legislative purpose."
Mnuchin said his agency is consulting with the Justice Department —by one of Mr. Trump's personal attorneys — to determine whether the request for Mr. Trump's tax returns is legal and constitutional. He pledged to review the request "carefully," but did not provide a timeline for doing so.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney vowed over the weekend thatsee Mr. Trump's tax returns.