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Court: Trump Still Needs to Hand Over His Tax Returns

Case set to return to SCOTUS
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2020 12:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – A case involving President Trump's tax returns is set to go to the Supreme Court for the second time this year. A federal appeals court handed Trump yet another defeat in the case Wednesday, ruling that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. can enforce a subpoena ordering Trump's accountant to hand over the tax returns to prosecutors, Fox reports. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals stayed enforcement under a deal between Vance's office and Trump's lawyers that gives the president 12 days to appeal the ruling to the highest court, per CNN. In July, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the president does not have total immunity from criminal investigation while in office. The latest ruling is the Trump legal team's fifth defeat in the case.

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The top court said that Trump was entitled to challenge the subpoena on other grounds, but arguments that it was too broad and amounted to political harassment were rejected Wednesday. "None of the president’s allegations, taken together or separately, are sufficient to raise a plausible inference that the subpoena was issued 'out of malice or an intent to harass,'" the appeals court wrote Wednesday, per the New York Times. Trump's lawyers argued that the subpoena, which seeks nine years of returns, was too broad because Vance's investigation is focused solely on hush-money payments made to two women who said they had affairs with Trump. Vance, however, had said he is seeking the returns after reports of "extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization." (The Times has already obtained 20 years of Trump's tax returns.)

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