Updated Oct 7, 2019

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.

Go deeper

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.

Go deeperArrowNov 4, 2019

The fight for Trump's taxes

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A federal appeals court ruling Friday morning in House Democrats' favor was just one piece of a web of ongoing court and legislative battles to obtain President Trump's tax returns and financial records.

Why it matters: The case to subpoena President Trump's financial records from Mazars USA, his longtime accounting firm, is much farther along in the courts than most of the opposition's other efforts — and it might be Democrats' best chance to make them public.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019

Appeals court upholds House subpoena for Trump's financial records

Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Friday a House subpoena for President Trump's financial records to Mazars USA, the president's longtime accounting firm.

Why it matters: This is one of the last stops for this case. Unless the president's legal team asks the full D.C. Circuit to take up the case or appeals it to the Supreme Court, the president could lose his fight to keep his financial records private.