N.Y. Senate passes bills on Trump's tax returns and pardon power

The New York state Senate took a another step towards revealing President Trump's state tax returns, passing a bill on Wednesday which would require the release of any state tax returns requested by the chair of the federal House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The bill is likely to pass the state Assembly, which is also controlled by Democrats, and to be signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman, who sponsored the bill, told CBSN in April that the bill was a response to the administration's "stonewalling" of congressional requests to provide Mr. Trump's federal tax returns.

"Here you have a president who is stonewalling the U.S. Congress, a co-equal branch of government undertaking its important oversight responsibilities," Hoylman said. "Lo and behold, we have Donald Trump's tax returns here in the state of New York and we can provide them to Congress if the IRS, if the Treasury Department won't."

The Senate also passed a bill which will allow state prosecutors to bring charges against individuals who receive presidential pardons, but only when the president has a conflict of interest in the case, such as pardoning relatives or former employees. Currently, state prosecutors cannot bring charges based on the same facts used to convict individuals of federal crimes for which they received pardons, creating a so-called "double-jeopardy loophole. 

This bill could eventually apply to Mr. Trump's onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a former New York resident who is serving time in prison on federal charges. Mr. Trump has said that he believed Manafort was treated poorly by prosecutors, and has hinted at issuing a pardon for his former campaign chairman.

"It was never discussed, but I wouldn't take it off the table. Why would I take it off the table?" Mr. Trump said of a potential pardon of Manafort in an interview with the New York Post in November.

Mr. Trump has recently gone after officials in New York, after New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank as part of a new probe looking into the financing of four Trump Organization projects and a failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills back in 2014.

"New York State and its Governor, Andrew Cuomo, are now proud members of the group of PRESIDENTIAL HARASSERS," Mr. Trump tweeted in March. He added, "No wonder people are fleeing the State in record numbers. The Witch Hunt continues!"

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