NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state on Monday cleared the way for Democrats in the U.S. Congress to obtain President Donald Trump’s state tax returns, raising the possibility of fresh avenues of inquiry for lawmakers investigating his finances.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment to a tax law that would require the commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance to share state income tax returns and reports when certain congressional committees request them.
“This bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law,” said Cuomo, a Democrat.
Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow responded to the law by calling it an example of “more presidential harassment.”
“We will respond to this as appropriate,” he said in a statement.
The law, effective immediately, opens a new avenue for the Democratic majority in Congress to investigate Trump’s business affairs.
New York’s state legislature has had a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate since Democrats won control of the Senate in 2018.
U.S. congressional Democrats have pushed for the release of Trump’s tax returns since he took office.
In May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin denied the House Ways and Means committee’s request that the Internal Revenue Service turn over six years of Trump’s federal tax returns, citing his belief that the committee did not have a legitimate legislative reason for the request.
The committee sued Mnuchin and the Treasury Department last week to appeal Mnuchin’s decision.
Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York and Karen Freifeld in Washington; editing by Scott Malone and Dan Grebler