Albany, New York–Taking aim at President Trump, New York lawmakers voted on Wednesday to allow congressional committees to seek the president’s tax returns and to close a potential loophole for those he might pardon.
The two bills passed by the Democratic-controlled State Senate do not explicitly mention President Trump, but there was little question that he was the focus of both efforts.
One bill would eliminate the so-called double jeopardy loophole that gives individuals who have been pardoned at a federal level indemnity from New York State prosecutors. Its sponsor, Senator Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Island, said the bill would address “wanton threats of the use of the pardon power” by Mr. Trump.
The other bill would authorize the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to release any state tax return requested by a leader of one of three congressional committees for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose.”
The bills still need approval in the State Assembly, also dominated by Democrats, vote scheduled for Monday. And Governor Cuomo says he’ll sign. State Republicans have their knickers intricately knotted, but nobody cares.
It’s the little things that get you. I assume New York bases state tax returns on filtering the federal return through state-law adjustments, which means the returns, at a minimum, report all the significant numbers from Trump’s Federal returns. Plus, the state returns might reflect additional information relating to real estate in NY, Trump’s businesses and “charity”, and on and on.
Nice touch closing the double-jeopardy loophole, too. That closes off one line of witness tampering formerly available to Trump. It’s the little things that count.
“If they won’t do it,” Mr. Hoylman said, “New York can.” I’ve never appreciated Federalism more. Thanks, Albany!