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The bill may lead to further insight into the vast and complex network of Mr. Trump’s business activities, which he has vigorously tried to conceal for decades.
After Times reporters obtained printouts from Mr. Trump’s I.R.S. tax transcripts for the years 1985 through 1994, they reported that he had lost $1 billion in just 10 years. The printouts were sent by a person who had legal access to them.
Mr. Trump and some of his supporters say the interest in his taxes is a political witch hunt meant to derail his White House agenda.
[Here are the latest developments on the fights over President Trump’s taxes, access to the full Mueller report and more.]
How did the hunt for Mr. Trump’s tax returns end up in Albany?
The hunt is in New York because Mr. Trump, who was born in Queens, lived here for years.
Until Mr. Trump moved into the White House, he lived and worked in Manhattan. That meant he filed taxes in New York, and that the information is in the hands of state officials.
Democrats, who have long occupied the governor’s office, recently took full control of the Legislature, giving them the power to write a bill to release tax returns under certain circumstances.
How can New York lawmakers release his tax information?
Currently, there is no real mechanism for state officials to release Mr. Trump’s state returns. The legislation, which has the support of Governor Cuomo, would change that.
The bill would allow the state’s tax commissioner to release a resident’s returns in response to a request from any of three congressional committees: the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Once Mr. Cuomo signs the bill into law, the heads of those committees can ask for the information.
What kind of information is in a state tax return?
How much was the person’s salary? How much did he lose on investments? How much did he give to charity?
Essentially, the returns would help answer questions about where Mr. Trump’s money came from, and went.
Remind me: Why does anybody care about Mr. Trump’s finances?
Mr. Trump rode to office, in part, by arguing that his business acumen made him qualified for the job. But in 2016, he became the first president in decades to not publicly disclose his tax returns. Mr. Trump’s aides are now fighting efforts to obtain them.
In 2018, a Times investigation of Mr. Trump’s business records found that he had engaged in outright fraud, potentially denying New York coffers millions in tax revenue. Tax information later showed that he had lost more than $1 billion in a decade.
And his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Congress that Mr. Trump pursued a business deal in Russia during the presidential campaign.
Also, there may be penalties for providing false or misleading information on tax returns.
Speaking of Mr. Trump’s connection to New York …
Michael Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer, was charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan yesterday with misappropriating thousands of dollars belonging to one of his clients, Stormy Daniels, the pornographic film star who claimed she had an extramarital affair with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Avenatti has denied any wrongdoing.
From my colleague Rebecca Ruiz:
According to prosecutors, Mr. Avenatti took more than $295,000 from Ms. Daniels. After helping her secure a book contract, they said, he sent “a fraudulent and unauthorized letter” bearing Ms. Daniels’s signature to her literary agent, instructing the agent to wire a portion of the book advance to a client trust account that Mr. Avenatti controlled.
From The Times
$770,000 was just spent on a Nycha playground. Now the city wants to raze it.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is backing the insurgent Tiffany Cabán in the seven-way Democratic primary for Queens district attorney.
Video of a teenager’s violent arrest in New Jersey prompted protests.
A former detective admitted to running brothels, in the worst N.Y.P.D. scandal in years.
[Want more news from New York and around the region? Check out our full coverage.]
The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.
What we’re reading
New York State runs a program for drug-addicted inmates that relies more on military discipline than medical remedies. Some participants said they were required to go off psychiatric medications to participate. [The Appeal]
A class-action lawsuit accuses several Starbucks locations in New York City of exposing customers to a toxic pesticide in an effort to hide “disgusting conditions.” [Gothamist]
An illustrated history of New York City’s playgrounds. [City Lab]
Coming up today
Walk through Strawberry Fields and Sheep Meadow with a Central Park Conservancy guide on a tour of the southwest section of the park. 2 p.m. [$15]
Join a studio talk by this year’s artists in residence at the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan. 6:30 p.m. [Free]
Carl Gallagher performs original compositions on electric and steel guitar at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Garden on Staten Island. The performance is designed for the acoustics of the space, Snug Harbor’s Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art. 8 p.m. [$10]
— Vivian Ewing
Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.
And finally: Coney Island, New York’s hometown amusement park
For many, summertime in New York City means a trip to Coney Island, that noisy, playful, idiosyncratic waterfront slice of Brooklyn eccentricity.
Who hasn’t fallen for its charm?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the famed detective who embodied British propriety and cleverness, partied there with friends one night in 1914 and declared, “Coney Island doesn’t give one time to think.” He added: “I certainly had a good time.”
That’s one way to put it.
[Sign up for Summer in the City: This limited-edition newsletter will run through Labor Day.]
Coney Island is not for the faint of heart.
The Times recently unearthed a trove of images showing people on Coney Island’s rides, experiencing what my colleague Jeff Giles described as ecstasy, fear, shock and a dozen other emotions as they realize that their bodies are no longer under their control.
They are photos taken before the age of the selfie stick, when few people were able to capture such spontaneous moments.
Of course, there were exceptions.
In 1969, the journalist and novelist Norman Mailer took a roller-coaster ride while he was campaigning for mayor.
Accompanying him in the front seat was a man holding a camera. Seated in the last row was a man holding a bulky movie camera. Mr. Mailer wore a suit jacket and tie. All the men wore collared shirts.
Thankfully, many other people have gone, and keep going, to Coney Island.
It’s Thursday — have you had time to think?
Metropolitan Diary: Wanna buy a watch?
One day in 1977 after leaving Lehman College in the Bronx, I was walking to the Kingsbridge Road subway station when a car approached. A guy sitting on the passenger side flashed a watch out the window. I waved my hand dismissively.
A few days later, I left my house in Woodside, Queens. As I walked down the block, I saw a car slow down. It was the same guy showing me a watch.
“I told you no on Goulden Avenue in the Bronx the other day and I’m telling you no again,” I said without missing a beat. “Stop following me.”
— John Doherty
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