Trump Faces Pressure From N.Y. Lawmakers Over Tax Returns


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Taking goal at President Trump, New York lawmakers voted on Wednesday to create a pathway for congressional committees to acquire the president’s state tax returns, probably opening one other avenue to shake unfastened data that he has lengthy hid.

The invoice, handed by the Democrat-controlled State Senate, doesn’t explicitly point out Mr. Trump, however there was little query that he was the main focus: Mr. Trump has refused to launch his tax returns, bucking a standard follow of presidents for the previous 4 a long time.

The significance of the invoice’s passage was underscored by a New York Times investigation revealed on Tuesday that disclosed that Mr. Trump had reported greater than $1 billion in core enterprise losses from 1985 and 1994, in line with tax data obtained by The Times.

The Times discovered that in some years, Mr. Trump appeared to have misplaced more cash than every other single taxpayer — a far cry from the president’s cultivated picture as a self-made billionaire and grasp deal maker.

During a weekly meeting with reporters on Wednesday, the House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, said the new details bolstered the Democrats’ demand for Mr. Trump’s tax returns. He dismissed Mr. Trump’s longtime excuse that he was unable to release them because they were under audit.

“Presumably any time they get a piece of paper from Donald Trump, they put it under audit,” he said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said that the revelations in The Times’s report were not of interest to the average voter. “What people are going to vote on is their economic well-being, not Trump’s economic well-being in the ’80s and ’90s,” Mr. Graham told reporters in Washington. “He’s been great for the economy. So people are going to judge Trump based on their tax return, not his.”

In New York, the Senate also passed another bill aimed at Mr. Trump that would exempt New York’s so-called double jeopardy law from cases involving presidential pardons. If signed into law, it would allow state prosecutors to pursue charges against any aide to Mr. Trump who may be pardoned — a proposal initially floated by Eric T. Schneiderman, the former state attorney general of New York.

The sponsor of that bill, Senator Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Island and a former prosecutor, said the legislation would address “wanton threats of the use of the pardon power.”

The bills are expected to be discussed on Monday by the State Assembly, also led by Democrats, and are considered likely to pass there as well.

Mr. Hoylman and Mr. Kaminsky denied any partisan agenda, casting it instead as an attempt to help Congress fulfill its constitutional oversight duties. “As we fight this battle with Washington, we know that New York is in a unique role,” Mr. Hoylman said.

The state’s three-term Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, has also said he would support the bills.

Republicans in Albany were irate with both bills, calling them “bills of attainder,” a legislative act that singles out a person or a group for punishment without trial, and a blatantly political act in a deeply blue state.

“You may be aiming for the president, but there’s going to be a lot of collateral damage,” said Senator Andrew Lanza, a Staten Island Republican. “Today it’s the president, tomorrow it’s the rest of us.”

Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Vivian Wang contributed reporting.



Source link Nytimes.com

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