Fed Appeals Court Rules—Yet Again—Manhattan D.A. Can Subpoena Trump’s Tax Returns


Breaking News/Cheat Sheet Intern
Updated Oct. 07, 2020 11:18AM ET /
Published Oct. 07, 2020 11:13AM ET
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday against Trump’s latest attempt to block a subpoena for his tax returns—just the latest in a series of court rulings ordering him to hand over the documents. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was not too broad in its scope, nor could the reason for its issuance solely be relegated to a “political fishing expedition,” as the president has often argued. Tuesday’s decision is the fifth time the courts have blocked Trump’s efforts to obscure his tax returns from Vance, who is investigating possible financial crimes including hush money payments that Michael Cohen paid to Trump’s alleged mistresses.

In this latest attempt, Trump’s lawyers argued the probe was still focused on the hush money payments and that the scope of the subpoena’s information requests was too large. In response, the court said it was “simply speculation” to assume Vance’s grand jury investigation was limited to the 2016 payments and there was “no logic” to suggest the district attorney’s subpoena was irrelevant. Trump is expected to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court for a second time. The case has lost some public sting after The New York Times obtained most of the returns last month, showing he paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and had not paid taxes in 11 of the 15 years examined.



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