Trump asking Supreme Court to block subpoena for his tax returns

Trump asking Supreme Court to block subpoena for his tax returns

Trump appealed a November 4 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that prosecutors can enforce a subpoena demanding his personal and corporate tax returns from 2011 to 2018 from accounting firm Mazars LLP.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to block a subpoena demanding his accounting firm to turn over eight years of his tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, multiple media outlets reported. In our petition, we assert that the subpoena violates the U.S. Constitution and therefore is unenforceable.

The president's legal team issued a statement, which read "the decision of the Second Circuit will be taken to the Supreme Court - the issue raised in this case goes to the heart of our Republic (and) the constitutional issues are significant".

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr, a Democrat, has demanded Trump's tax returns dating back to 2011 as part of an investigation into payments made by Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney, to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who claimed to have had a sexual liaison with Trump before he ran for president in 2016. The returns are now held by Trump's accountants.

The committee subpoenaed Mazars for Trump's financial records, including tax returns, in April.

The Supreme Court petition said the subpoena is "politically motivated".

Trump previously appointed two judges to the nine-member Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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The petition, which was obtained by The Washington Post, argues that Trump is protected under "presidential immunity" from state criminal investigations.

There have been various other attempts to obtain the returns by Democratic lawmakers in NY and in the House of Representatives.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit voted Wednesday not to reconsider an earlier panel opinion ordering Mazars to comply with the subpoena.

Trump wants the court to decide the case by late June, under a deal to keep the district attorney from enforcing the subpoena in the meantime. "The President will be injured by the imminent disclosure of his confidential records, the Chairman's request will cause that injury, and equitable relief will stop that injury from occurring", the memo said. The House Oversight Committee has been seeking the same records, and on Wednesday, the full USA appeals court in Washington refused to block the subpoena. The House later voted to formally open an impeachment proceeding, though that inquiry is focused on Trump's dealings with Ukraine, not his tax returns. The accounting firm has said it will "comply with all legal obligations". Judges David S. Tatel and Patricia A. Millett rejected Trump's claim that the House subpoena should be blocked because it was allegedly aimed at law enforcement, not new legislation.

"The President has not persuasively explained why, if executive privilege did not preclude enforcement of the subpoena issued in Nixon, the Mazars subpoena must be enjoined despite seeking no privileged information and bearing no relation to the President's performance of his official functions", Katzmann wrote. The eighth was appointed by President George W. Bush, a Republican.

A view of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. The three dissenting judges - those who sided with the president - were all Republican appointees.

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