Two and a half years in and the Dems. are still after Trump. Their latest push came from New York, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday that could allow lawmakers on Capitol Hill to obtain President Trump’s state tax returns, in what has been described as a “workaround” after failed efforts by House Democrats to get the president’s federal returns.
Previously, state tax returns were completely private with an exception for law enforcement. The new bill – seemingly passed to target Trump specifically – adds an exception that says the state’s Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance has to turn over information requested by the head of the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee, or Joint Committee on Taxation.
“Tax secrecy is paramount — the exception being for bonafide investigative and law enforcement purposes,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By amending the law enforcement exception in New York State tax code to include Congressional tax-related committees, this bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.”
Democrats have been eyeing Trump’s tax returns for quite some time now. Since the Russian collusion witch-hunt fell apart, and with it their hopes of impeaching Trump, Dems. have shifted their full focus towards Trump’s returns. God forbid they actually spend some time trying to pass any meaningful legislation.
President Trump’s legal team responded to the signing of the bill with a statement from attorney Jay Sekulow.
“This is more Presidential harassment. We will respond to this as appropriate,” Sekulow said.
While the new bill does require a certification from the requesting committee chair that there is a legitimate legislative purpose, and that their committee already requested federal tax returns from the Treasury Department.
Conveniently, the House Ways and Means Committee previously made such a request, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin shut it down when he determined that lawmakers did not show a legitimate legislative purpose for their request.
The committee then sued the Trump administration after Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig failed to comply with a subpoena Democrats issued for Trump’s federal returns. One Democrat Rep. Lloyd Dogget even went to the extent of calling for Mnuchin and Rettig to be held in contempt and jailed for refusing to comply with the ridiculous subpoena.
The signing of the bill in New York, Trumps home state, means that House Democrats will likely gain access to Trump’s state returns at least. Local Republicans called out their constituents from across the table over their involvement in D.C. politics rather than their focus on crucial state matters.
“The Democratic legislature and Governor Cuomo are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and playing politics at the expense of doing the people’s business,” New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox told Fox News when the state Senate passed the bill in May.
Critics of the bill have pointed out that the motivation for it is unconstitutional, as it stems from the specific desire to target Trump. This is known as a “bill of attainder,” a law that singles out an individual person for punishment, and is prohibited in the Constitution.
While the literature in the bill itself does not make any reference to Trump, many over-zealous Democrat sponsors of it have specifically mentioned Trump in reference to the legislation. This could cause trouble for them in the future as it may warrant a legal challenge of the bill.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, described the bill as the House Democrats “quest to get Trump’s tax returns”, adding that it was “a workaround to a White House that continues to obstruct and stonewall the legitimate oversight work of Congress.”
In the past, presidential candidates traditionally disclosed their tax returns prior to the general election. But it is not required by law.
Democrats continue down this slippery slope. The entire time Trump has been in office, they have shown the American people that they are incapable of making decisions that help this country. The Dems. have been betting on the fact that Trump is a bad guy and that is their only campaign strategy heading into 2020.
Their disconnect with the American people is growing more and more obvious, and it could mean a landslide victory for Republicans in the next election.