Nov 4, 2019

Appeals court rules against Trump on his tax returns

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that President Trump must turn over eight years of his tax returns to a state grand jury, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow said after the ruling that the president's legal team is appealing the case to the Supreme Court, according to Politico's Darren Samuelsohn.

Details: The court dodged Trump's legal team's argument that he is immune from criminal investigations while in the White House, saying instead that the president’s accounting firm is being subpoenaed for the documents — not Trump himself.

Background: The legal fight over Trump's tax returns started in August when Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. subpoenaed the president’s accounting firm, Mazars, as part of a criminal investigation into allegations that the Trump Organization made hush money payment during the 2016 presidential election to two women who had affairs with Trump.

  • Vance Jr. requested the president's tax returns and those of his family business dating back to 2011.
  • Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, is currently serving out a 3-year sentence for campaign finance violations for making a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels and a $150,000 payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal on the condition that they did not reveal their past relationships with Trump.
  • Vance Jr. is investigating whether the Trump Organization falsely listed its reimbursement of Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels as a legal expense.
  • Trump's lawyers countersued the subpoena, saying the criminal investigation of the president was unconstitutional.

Go deeper: Trump lawyer argues the president can't be prosecuted for shooting someone

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Trump asks Supreme Court to block subpoena for tax returns

Photo: Steven Ferdman/WireImage

President Trump on Thursday filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling compelling his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA to turn over his tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney.

Why it matters: The request, which was expected, marks a significant escalation of the president's fight to stop prosecutors and Congress from obtaining his financial records — one that will test the limits of Trump's argument that he is immune from criminal investigation while in office.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019

Trump intends to take tax return fight to Supreme Court

President Trump at a Georgia rally on Nov. 8, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's lawyers intend to petition the U.S. Supreme Court by Nov. 14 to review a lower court ruling requiring the president to turn over eight years of his tax returns to a state grand jury, according to a letter written Friday.

Why it matters: This case would mark the first time the Supreme Court makes a decision on Trump's legal argument — that he is immune from criminal investigation while in office — and could "produce a major statement on the limits of presidential power," the New York Times reports.

Go deeperArrowNov 9, 2019

Read: Appeals court rules Congress can access Trump's tax records

President Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting at the White House on Oct. 21. Photo: Brendan Smialowsky/AFP via Getty Images

Congress can seek eight years of President Trump's tax records, according to a federal appeals court ruling on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's a major setback for Trump, who's tried to block every attempt to make his tax returns public and plans to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 14, 2019