President Trump's personal tax records could soon be made public

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on June 10 in New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on June 10 in New York

NY state on Monday cleared the way for USA congressional Democrats investigating President Donald Trump's finances to obtain his state tax returns, opening a new fight in Trump's squabbles with Democrats.

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

Mnuchin has said that the request by Congress for six years of Trump's tax returns "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose" as Supreme Court precedent requires, and that the Department of Justice is "not authorized to disclose the requested returns and return information".

Democrats have been seeking to obtain six years of the president's personal and business tax returns since April, but the administration has blocked repeated requests using a federal law, which the NY measure mimics, and subpoenas. It was passed by the New York State Assembly in May. The law, known as the TRUST Act, authorizes state officials to share tax return information of elected officials upon request from Congressional Committees.

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The New York law does require a similar legitimate legislative goal - though Democratic officials in the state are likely to be more amenable to Mr. Neal's reasoning.

The new law went into effect immediately.

Created to give Congress a way around the Republican president's refusal to release his returns, the new law is expected to face legal challenges.

Existing laws generally prohibit the release of tax returns.

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The Trump administration has continued to stand its ground against all efforts to obtain his tax returns.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has made reference to the bill in the past, calling it a "workaround to a White House that continues to obstruct and stonewall the legitimate oversight work of Congress".

Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, however, has signalled that he may not be interested.

Neal is suing IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for not complying with a subpoena to hand over Trump's tax returns from 2013 through 2018 as well as records from eight of his business entities.

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