New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill allowing Congress to obtain President Donald Trump’s state tax returns.
In statement, Gov. Cuomo said the TRUST Act amended the law enforcement exception in New York State tax code. It “gives Congress the ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.”
Under the legislation, congressional committees must submit a written request to the Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance to obtain the state income tax returns and reports of individuals. The requesting congressional committee must certify that it has “legitimate legislative purpose” for requesting the tax returns or reports.
The Commissioner is required to redact any information that, if disclosed, would violate state or federal law or would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (e.g. social security numbers, account numbers, and residential address information) before sharing the tax returns to congressional committees.
New York State is helping Congress avoid a constitutional crisis
New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman, the author of the TRUST Act, commented that his legislation “helps restore the fundamental democratic principle that no one person — no matter what office they might hold — is above the law.”
He added, “As the home state of Donald Trump, New York has a special role to play to help avoid a constitutional crisis between the President and Congress in their effort to obtain his tax returns. But this legislation is bigger than one person or one president. Moving forward, this new law helps Congress perform one of its most important responsibilities: oversight of the Office of the President.”
Jay Sekulow, a Trump lawyer said, “This is more Presidential harassment. “We will respond to this as appropriate,” according to The Hill.