New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump’s State Tax Returns – The New York Times
On Wednesday, the Ways and Means Committee said it was focused on pursuing Mr. Trump’s federal tax information, regardless of New York’s action and the potential for getting the president’s state returns.
“Our request to the Internal Revenue Service was in furtherance of an investigation into the mandatory presidential audit program at the I.R.S.,” said Daniel Rubin, a spokesman for the committee, which is led by Representative Richard E. Neal, the Massachusetts Democrat. “State returns would not help us evaluate this program.”
At the same time, Steven M. Rosenthal, a tax lawyer and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said he would not be surprised if the president fought the state law, though he believed it passed legal muster.
“Of course, the Legislature was motivated by Donald Trump’s current refusals,” Mr. Rosenthal said, but added that he thought the bill was written broadly enough to avoid the “bill of attainder” accusation.
That opinion was echoed by Brian Galle, a law professor at Georgetown University Law School, who said that “bills of attainder have been interpreted really narrowly by the courts,” and noted that legislation often describes targeted industries or municipalities in vague terms. (In New York, for instance, state bills aimed at New York City are typically described as those affecting “a city with a population of one million or more,” as New York is the only such city in the state.)
“The bill doesn’t say you can release Donald Trump’s, and only Donald Trump’s, tax returns,” Mr. Galle said.
Lawmakers took steps to safeguard the bill from legal challenges, amending the wording so that it covered an array of public officials, federal executive branch employees and political party leaders.