Supreme Court declines to shield Trump's tax returns from Manhattan DA

Source: The Hill | February 22, 2021 | John Kruzel

The Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed a bid by former President Trump to shield his tax returns and other financial records from a New York grand jury subpoena.

The justices issued the order in the long-running dispute between Trump and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. (D) without comment or noted dissents.

“The work continues,” Vance tweeted in response.

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The court’s order comes in response to an emergency request Trump filed in October to the Supreme Court after losing several rounds in the lower courts.

Vance’s office has sought Trump’s records since 2019, when a New York grand jury issued a subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for eight years of the former president’s personal and business tax returns and other financial records.

Vance’s office is looking into payments made to silence two women who allege they had affairs with Trump, including adult-film star Stormy Daniels. Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations, has said the payments were made in order to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Additionally, Vance’s office has said its subpoena is part of an investigation into possible financial crimes by the Trump Organization.

Trump has tried unsuccessfully since 2019 to fend off the request. His filing in October marked the second time that Trump asked the justices to shield his records.

In July, the justices voted 7-2 to reject Trump’s argument that presidents have sweeping immunity from criminal proceedings but said Trump could pose other legal objections in the lower courts.

Trump then mounted unsuccessful litigation in New York-based federal district and appellate courts, claiming that the subpoena should be blocked because it is overly broad and was issued in bad faith and designed to harass the president.

The justice’s Monday order effectively declined to halt the lower court rulings against Trump.

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