New York Senate approves double jeopardy bill

President Trump Addresses The Nation In His First State Of The Union Address To Joint Session Of Congress

President Trump Addresses The Nation In His First State Of The Union Address To Joint Session Of Congress

On a day when President Trump's tax returns were already the subject of discussion-and his tweets had much to do with that-New York lawmakers voted of 39-21 to send the bill to the state Assembly.

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. It would have applied to filings related to personal income and other taxes and covered up to five years of returns before the person took office. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat who is one of the main sponsors. Both chambers of the state Legislature are controlled by Democrats.

Ed Cox, chairman of the state Republican Party, called the proposal "a bill of attainder, aimed at one person".

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

Nonetheless, state taxes could provide lawmakers and the public with significant insight into the NY real estate developer's financial holdings.

State Democrats are hopeful the legislation will present a way around the president's refusal to turn over his financial information.

Two days after the Trump administration refused to release the president's tax returns, Democrats in the House are still grappling with the rebuff, as several lawmakers say the law is clearly on the side of Congressional oversight. Any law passed in NY might also be destined for a court challenge.

In the span of almost a decade, from 1985 to 1994, Donald Trump lost more money than almost any other individual American taxpayer, the Times report claims. "They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade", the report said. Federal law gives the three congressional committees the authority to request and inspect the tax information of any US 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.

The bill is likely to pass the state Assembly, which is also controlled by Democrats, and to be signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump.

"Americans have the right to know if the president is putting his business empire, or the interests of the public, first", said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, a group that supports the legislation. Breaking with a long standing norm, Trump had refused to release his taxes during the 2016 election, claiming his finances were under audit.

Ahead of the vote on the tax returns bill, the Senate approved legislation created to ensure that a presidential pardon doesn't cover similar criminal charges filed at the state level.

This story has been corrected to show the bill applies to all New Yorkers, not just seven types of state and federal officeholders. Currently, state prosecutors can not bring charges based on the same facts used to convict individuals of federal crimes for which they received pardons, creating a so-called "double-jeopardy loophole".

The Assembly hasn't scheduled a vote on that bill.