An appeals court ruled Wednesday that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office could enforce a subpoena for President Trump’s tax returns — the latest defeat in the president’s year-long battle to keep his financial records private.
A three-judge panel for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the president’s argument that the demand for eight years of his tax returns and other financial records from accounting firm Mazars was overbroad and issued in bad faith.
Attorneys for Trump had argued that Vance’s probe was limited to hush-money payments made before the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels and other women with whom he allegedly had affairs — and the subpoena exceed the scope of the inquiry.
But the DA countered that its investigation into the financial dealings of the Trump Organization and affiliated entities is significantly broader in focus — though the office has not disclosed the specifics.
The decision marks the fifth time the courts have ruled against Trump in his bid to block the subpoena.
The president sued Vance in Manhattan federal court after the Mazars subpoena was issued in August of 2019.
He initially argued that he was protected by total immunity from criminal investigation while in office — and the case made its way up to the United States Supreme Court, which rejected the claim in a landmark decision. But the court gave him the green light to challenge the subpoena on other grounds, which led to his latest arguments against the release of his financial records.
Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said his side would appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court. But first they’ll ask the court for a stay to block the enforcement of the subpoena while they prepare the appeal, he said, adding that they planned to file an application for the stay next week.
In a recent expose, the paper obtained two decades of Trump’s tax-return data and said their analysis revealed that he had paid only $750 in income tax in both 2016 and 2017.