If A Democrat House Wants Trump's Tax Returns, Go To NY Not The IRS
Updated: May 6, 2019
Note: This article has been updated.
Now that the Democrats have regained the house they have made plans to subpoena Donald Trump’s tax returns. Donald Trump and the Republicans have a plan to fight it out in the courts. Even Newt Gingrich went so far as to brag about how Brett Kavanaugh may vote on the Supreme Court to help keep them secret. It would seem like a showdown will occur, but unfortunately for Trump, both the Democrats and the Mueller probe can obtain the tax returns quite easily without the administration’s consent.
Firstly, the Robert Mueller and other prosecutors can easily obtain tax returns. This means that they have most likely been thoroughly investigated in secret. But if the Trump administration controls the federal government including Mueller’s probe and the Democrats want to get the returns, how do they do it? That’s easy. Just go to New York State. New York State and Federal returns are essentially the same. And the state of New York is under the control of Democrats who are mostly anti-Trump. Furthermore, their Gov. Cuomo, who is rumored to be considering a 2020 presidential run can’t wait to make big headlines about hurting Trump. Expect any subpoena to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to be complied with very quickly and without any protest or court fight. Check and mate. The tax returns fight will be over before it began. It’ll be an interesting January.
Update: Since this article was written Democrats have subpoenaed the IRS for returns. Trump has sued to prevent his accounting firm from giving up tax information too. Should Trump either prevail, or get the courts to temporarily stop the subpoenas the Democrats have two cards left to play. The hard way would be to have a showdown (meaning congress tells the courts to go fuck themselves) between the courts and congress who both have similar powers to compel testimony and documents including contempt power.
The easiest way is to have the state of New York hand them over willingly through some mechanism. If it is illegal for them to just willingly hand them over, then the New York State Legislature can pass a law and the Governor can sign it. These positions are held by Democrats. It's that easy.
Update: The New York State legislature is considering a bill to share returns with Congress. They could also just get a congressional subpoena and respond to it.