California Gov. Signs A Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates To Submit Tax Returns

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Tuesday that will require President Donald Trump to submit five years of tax returns to qualify for the primary ballot in California.

The bill, SB-27, had already passed in the California Assembly and Senate. It requires candidates running for U.S. president and California governor to release the past five years of their tax returns, which the state would publish for public viewing, according to a press release from Newsom. President Donald Trump has fought against releasing this information.

“This is unquestionably a bill directed toward and inspired by President Donald Trump’s refusal to release copies of his tax returns,” journalist Yashar Ali, who previously worked on Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign, wrote Tuesday. “When Newsom signs the bill today, California will become the first state to require such a disclosure by law.”

Under the new law, Trump must release five years of tax returns in order to be on the ballet in California when he runs for President in 2020. If he doesn’t comply, he will not be allowed on the ballet.

All major Democratic candidates have released tax returns, Ali noted in his newsletter. Trump has been vehemently against releasing this information. He filed a lawsuit July 23 to stop the House Ways and Means Committee from accessing his tax returns. Trump has accused the committee of “presidential harassment.” (RELATED: Left Primaries The Democrat Who Refuses To Obtain Trump’s Taxes)

“These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence,” Newsom said according to the press release. “The disclosure required by this bill will shed light on conflicts of interest, self-dealing, or influence from domestic and foreign business interest.”

The Trump campaign responded critically to the new law.

“There are very good reasons why the very liberal Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed this bill two years ago – it’s unconstitutional and it opens up the possibility for states to load up more requirements on candidates in future elections,” Tim Murtaugh, Director of Communications for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “What’s next, five years of health records?”

Murtaugh told the DCNF that the bill “violates the 1st Amendment right of association,” and said that “states cannot add additional requirements” to what qualifies someone to be President.

“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.”

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