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Federal appeals court rules Trump cannot block subpoena for tax returns
© WikiMedia (White House)
Federal appeals court rules Trump cannot block subpoena for tax returns

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday that the Manhattan District Attorney (DA) can obtain President Donald Trump’s tax records. However, this probably will not occur immediately, as the court stayed the enforcement of the subpoena due to an agreement between the Manhattan DA and Trump’s legal team. It is anticipated that this case will head to the US Supreme Court.

This ruling is the latest in an attempt to block the subpoena after the Supreme Court ruled this summer that the president does not have broad immunity when it comes to state grand jury subpoenas. After that ruling, Trump’s lawyers amended the lawsuit, claiming that “a grand jury subpoena issued on August 29, 2019 by the District Attorney to defendant-appellee Mazars USA, LLP, the President’s accounting firm, is overbroad and was issued in bad faith.”

In its opinion, the appeals court stated that they “have considered all of the President’s remaining contentions on appeal and have found in them no basis for reversal.”

Under the agreement between the Manhattan DA and Trump’s legal team, which the appeals court endorsed, Trump has five days to file a motion to stay the subpoena. The DA team then has five days to file a reply and Trump has two days to respond. Of the current eight justices on the Court, five are required to grant the stay. If the stay is not granted, Trump can still argue the case on the merits, but the subpoena would still be enforced.