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Appeals court grants Trump stay in legal fight over his tax returns

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals granted President Trump an emergency stay Monday after the president lost a key court ruling over his tax returns, reports Bloomberg.

The state of play: A New York federal judge ruled earlier in the day that Manhattan's district attorney could subpoena 8 years of the president's personal and corporate tax returns from his longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA.

  • The Second Circuit's stay means that those documents will not have to be immediately handed over, pending an "expedited review" by a court panel.
  • The case involves an untested legal argument from Trump's lawyers, which posited that the Constitution protects presidents from criminal investigations while in office.

The big picture, via Axios' Zach Basu: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's office subpoenaed Trump's tax returns last month as part of its investigation into hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.

  • A federal investigation into the payments resulted in Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, and it "effectively concluded" in July with no further charges.
  • Vance's office opened a new investigation last month into whether the Trump Organization falsely listed its reimbursement of Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels as a legal expense, which would be illegal under New York law.

Worth noting: This is at least the third time Trump has sued to block the release of his tax returns. Earlier this year, the president filed a lawsuit against House Democrats and the state of New York over a law that would permit tax officials to turn over Trump's state tax returns.

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