Trump Must Hand Over Eight Years Of Tax Returns To New York Prosecutors, US Court Rules
Donald Trump’s accounting firm must now hand over eight years of his tax returns to New York prosecutors, a US appeals court ruled on Monday, November 4.
This is a major setback for Trump as he is also facing an impeachment inquiry in the Democratic-led House, over his attempts to get Ukraine’s leader to investigate his political rivals.
The ruling by the New York-based second US circuit court of appeals backed the ability of prosecutors to enforce a subpoena (command) for the returns against the French accounting firm, Mazars.
Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement, “We will be taking this case to the supreme court.”
Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr sought the records in an investigation that includes payments made to buy the silence of two women, adult film actor and director Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal, who claim they had affairs with the president before the 2016 election. Trump has denied the claims.
District attorney Vance has agreed not to enforce the subpoena while Trump appeals to the Supreme Court.
Under the agreement, Trump now has 10 business days to file that appeal.
In the written appeals court decision, the judges said that they only decided whether a state prosecutor can demand the president’s personal financial records while he is in office.
“We hold that any presidential immunity from state criminal process does not bar the enforcement of such a subpoena,” wrote chief judge Robert A Katzmann.
As Trump’s lawyers accused that the investigation by Vance, a Democrat, is politically motivated, a spokesman for Vance refused to comment.
After Richard Nixon, presidential candidates have released their tax records by precedent rather than by legal compulsion.
Since announcing his run for the White House in 2015, Trump has often said he will release his information after the completion of an audit, however an audit does not prevent the release of such information.