NY gov. grants Congress access to Trump state tax returns

Adam Edelman and Allan Smith

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a bill that would allow certain members of Congress to access to President Donald Trump's New York state tax returns.

The bill, which Cuomo had been expected to OK, requires New York officials to release tax returns of public officials that have been requested by "congressional tax-related committees" that have cited "specified and legitimate legislative purpose" in seeking them.

"(T)his bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law," Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The tax bill, which was passed weeks ago by the Democratically controlled state Legislature, makes it easier for New York to turn over the state tax returns of certain public office-holders, along with entities those people control or have a large stake in, that are requested by the leaders of the three congressional tax-writing committees.

The bill is seen as a clear shot at the president, who has refused to release his tax returns. But it's been met with resistance from the one Democrat who could actually utilize it.

RELATED: Andrew Cuomo through the years

House Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., said he won't request the state returns because he feels doing so would harm his efforts at obtaining Trump's federal returns. Just this week, Neal sued the IRS and the Treasury Department for those federal returns.

Meanwhile, Cuomo could act soon on another bill that is aimed at Trump

That legislation would allow state prosecutors to pursue charges against certain people even if they had received a presidential pardon. Trump has spoken about the possibility of pardoning those accused or convicted of crimes stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

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