Trump Pushes to Keep Tax Returns from NY Prosecutor, Eyes Possible Supreme Court Appeal

NEW YORK (Reuters) —
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. leaves a hearing in U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax case in the Manhattan borough of New York City, in October, 2019. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday urged a federal appeals court not to let Manhattan’s top prosecutor have his tax returns, saying “the deck was clearly stacked against” him, and said he would ask the Supreme Court to intervene if necessary.

The argument was made in a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, which on Tuesday will hear arguments on Trump’s bid to delay Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s subpoena for the tax returns during Trump’s appeal.

Absent a delay, Trump requested a stay to give the Supreme Court time to consider his request.

A spokesman for Vance declined to comment.

The district attorney is seeking eight years of tax returns from Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA in connection with a criminal probe of the president’s business practices.

Trump has fought the subpoena for a year. He suffered a defeat in July when the Supreme Court rejected his claim of immunity from criminal probes while in the White House.

The tax returns are unlikely to become public before the Nov. 3 presidential election. Vance has said the continued litigation has effectively given Trump the “temporary absolute immunity” that courts have rejected.

On Aug. 20, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero refused for a second time to block the subpoena, saying “justice requires an end to this controversy.”

But Monday’s filing said Trump was not resurrecting his broad immunity claim, arguing instead that the subpoena was overbroad and issued in bad faith, and that Vance should have to show why its contents were relevant to his probe.

“The District Attorney should not have been allowed to ‘run roughshod’ over the President in his pursuit of claims that the Supreme Court held he could raise,” the filing said.

The filing said enforcing the subpoena would cause Trump irreparable harm.

“It is disclosure of these records to the government–not just to the public–that causes injury,” it said.

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