As the battle over President Trump’s federal taxes intensifies in Washington, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a bill on Monday to allow congressional committees to access the president’s state tax returns.
The new law requires state tax officials to release the president’s state returns for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose” on the request of the chair of one of three congressional committees: the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
It is effective immediately, though it is unclear whether it will face a legal challenge from the Trump administration; on Monday, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, called the new law “more presidential harassment.”
It was also uncertain if the committee leaders would test the new law; some Democrats on Capitol Hill have viewed New York’s effort warily, fearing it could complicate or even damage their quest to secure Mr. Trump’s federal returns.
The Ways and Means Committee, for example, has taken pains to present their request as part of a committee investigation into the I.R.S.’s program for auditing presidents and not as an attempt — as Republicans charge — to simply embarrass Mr. Trump for political reasons.
Making an end-run around the federal returns at this point, the thinking goes, could undermine that justification and feed arguments from Mr. Trump’s allies that the House’s investigation is illegitimate.
A spokesman for the committee’s chair, Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts, declined to comment on Monday.
Nonetheless, activists pushing for Mr. Trump’s tax information to be shared with the public immediately called for Mr. Neal to avail himself of the new law.
“Any further delay is an injustice to the American people who deserve transparency about Trump’s foreign entanglements and massive conflicts of interest,” Ryan Thomas, a spokesman for one of the groups, Stand Up America, said in a statement.
Democrats in Washington have been unable to obtain Mr. Trump’s federal returns. The Ways and Means Committee has unsuccessfully sought six years of the president’s personal and business tax returns, and last week the House of Representatives sued the Treasury Department and the I.R.S. to try to force them to release the returns.
The state tax documents from New York — the president’s home state and business headquarters — would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, tax experts say.
Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and frequent critic of Mr. Trump, said that signing the bill would help Congress “fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law.”
The Legislature had passed the measure in late May; Dani Lever, Mr. Cuomo’s communications director, said that the six-week delay in signing the bill was because the governor’s office needed to do a diligent analysis of the legislation and its amendments.
“Any responsible government would thoroughly review this bill, just as we will with more than 930 bills passed this session,” Ms. Lever said, noting “how high the stakes are of this particular legislation.”
Mr. Trump defied longstanding tradition by refusing to release his tax returns as a presidential candidate in 2016, and has continued to decline to share the documents, citing federal audits of his taxes. Mr. Trump has previously said that he is ready to take the fight over his federal tax returns to the United States Supreme Court.
The White House on Monday had no comment on Mr. Cuomo’s signing of the bill.
Steven M. Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said that there were limits built into the new New York law on revealing federal tax details, but that a state return could still illuminate things like the president’s adjusted gross income.
“The bottom-line information that could be obtained from New York would be revealing,” said Mr. Rosenthal, who has endorsed the efforts to release Mr. Trump’s state taxes.
If Mr. Neal does not use the law, it is unlikely the other two congressional committees specifically empowered by Albany to do so will. But legal experts following the case cast some doubt on Washington Democrats’ apparent concerns with the law.
Andy Grewal, a University of Iowa law professor, said the Democrats in Washington were right to conclude that the Trump administration could try to use a request for Mr. Trump’s state returns to undermine the House’s argument in court. But he said he doubted whether it would ultimately impact a judge’s ruling.
“I don’t think that the federal lawsuit, however it turns out, will turn on whether or not the state request is made,” Professor Grewal said.
New York Democrats, dominant in a deep blue state, have also insisted their aim is nonpartisan.
“Our legislation isn’t about one person,” said Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan who sponsored the bill in Albany’s upper chamber. “It’s about assisting Congress in its oversight abilities.”
The bill signing is the latest in an escalating series of statements and actions that the Cuomo administration has taken against Mr. Trump or his policies, including an ongoing, online war pitting the president against Mr. Cuomo and the state attorney general, Letitia James. Last week, the president implied Ms. James was “harassing all of my New York businesses in search of anything at all they can find to make me look as bad as possible.”
State Republicans echoed Mr. Trump’s concerns, suggesting that the measure in New York was a “bill of attainder” — an unconstitutional piece of legislation aimed at a single person or group — as well as a potential invasion of privacy.
Nick Langworthy, the chairman of the New York State Republican Party, predicted the bill would fail legal scrutiny, and that taxpayers would end up paying for a “never-ending partisan witch hunt.”
“Today, Andrew Cuomo and Albany Democrats are using it to go after President Trump,” Mr. Langworthy said, “but tomorrow it could be any New Yorker.”
In a statement accompanying the signing, Mr. Cuomo acknowledged that “tax secrecy is paramount,” but said that there should be an exception “for bona fide investigative and law enforcement purposes.”
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11