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If Democrats in California get their way, President Trump will have to pony up his tax returns before anyone in the state can vote for him next year.
Gavin Newsom, the state’s Democratic governor, signed a bill Tuesday morning that will require Trump to release five years of his tax returns before his name can appear on the state’s primary ballot in 2020. Democrats have long criticized the president for refusing to release his tax returns when he first announced his candidacy for president in 2015. But California is the first state in the country to use a ballot slot as leverage to disclose his tax returns, the Sacramento Bee reported.
“The United States Constitution grants states the authority to determine how their electors are chosen, and California is well within its constitutional right to include this requirement,” Newsom wrote in a statement.
When California’s state legislature passed the bill along party lines two weeks ago, the Trump campaign’s communications director Tim Murtaugh called the effort unconstitutional in a statement to the Bee.
“The Constitution is clear on the qualifications for someone to serve as president and states cannot add additional requirements on their own,” Murtaugh said. “The bill also violates the 1st Amendment right of association since California can’t tell political parties which candidates their members can or cannot vote for in a primary election.”
California’s law wouldn’t just apply to Trump: Any candidate running for president or governor would have to provide five years’ worth of tax returns.
Some candidates, like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen.Kamala Harris, have already done that. But others — like current party front-runner Joe Biden — have only released three.
Others, like entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former housing secretary Julian Castro, have yet to release any at all.
Cover image: This July 23, 2019 photo shows California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a news conference in Sacramento, California. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)