Federal Appeals Court Blocks Release Of President Trump's Tax Returns To Manhattan DA

Tuesday, September 1st 2020, 1:37 pm
By: CBS News

A federal appeals court in New York has halted enforcement of a grand jury subpoena from Manhattan's district attorney for troves of President Trump's financial records and tax returns while it considers the case.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request from Mr. Trump and his legal team to put the ruling from a federal district court on hold while it hears the appeal. A three-judge panel from the appeals court will hear oral arguments in the dispute between the president and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on September 25.

Mr. Trump asked the 2nd Circuit to delay enforcement of the subpoena to his longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, after a federal judge dismissed his second effort to block Vance from gaining access to his financial records last month. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled the president's accounting firm must hand over eight years of the president's business records, including his tax returns, and rejected Mr. Trump's claims the subpoena was overbroad and issued in bad faith. The president immediately appealed the lower court's order.

Vance is seeking the information as part of a criminal investigation into Mr. Trump's business dealings and hush-money payments made to two women who claimed they had affairs with the president years before he was elected.

This will be the second time the 2nd Circuit will take up the president's efforts to keep his financial records out of Vance's hands. While the district attorney first issued his subpoena to Mazars last year, Mr. Trump challenged the request in federal court, arguing he was entitled to "absolute immunity" from state criminal proceedings while in office.

But the president lost before the district court and the 2nd Circuit, and he ultimately appealed to the Supreme Court. While the high court ruled 7-2 in May that Vance could access Mr. Trump's financial records, it sent the case back to the lower courts for further proceedings. The Supreme Court rejected the president's claims of absolute immunity but allowed him to challenge the validity of the subpoena on other grounds.

First published on September 1, 2020 / 2:10 PM

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