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Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images

A federal appeals panel on Tuesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling that would have forced President Trump to comply with a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance for eight years of his financial records.

What to watch: The panel set oral arguments for Trump's appeal for Sept. 25. Trump's lawyers have already signaled their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court if they lose, further extending the legal fight that began last September.

The big picture: The Supreme Court ruled in July that presidents are not immune from investigation and that Vance had the legal right to subpoena Trump's financial institutions, but it sent the case back down to lower courts so that Trump's lawyers could raise other objections.

  • A federal judge threw out Trump's lawsuit last month, dismissing the theory of "absolute immunity" from investigation argued by the president's lawyers as "perilous to the rule of law."
  • Trump's lawyers immediately appealed, and a three-judge panel from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals heard brief arguments on Monday before issuing its temporary stay.
  • Worth noting: Even if Vance is allowed to enforce the subpoena, grand jury secrecy laws would prevent Trump's tax returns from becoming public.

Between the lines: In a disclosure last month, Vance's office suggested for the first time that it's investigating Trump and his company for "alleged bank and insurance fraud."

  • The filing pointed to media reports about "possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization" to support Vance's argument about the legitimacy of the subpoena, which Trump's lawyers had argued was over-broad and issued in bad faith.
  • Previously, Vance was only thought to be investigating hush-money payments that Trump made to women he allegedly had affairs with through his former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Ivanka Trump deposed in suit involving inaugural committee's alleged misuse of funds

Ivanka Trump. Photo: Joe Raedle via Getty

Ivanka Trump was deposed in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the possible abuse of inaugural funds, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: The Washington, D.C. attorney general’s office sued the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) in January, alleging the committee misused over $1 million in payments to the Trump hotel in D.C. for event space during the president’s 2017 inauguration. Those funds “flowed directly to the Trump family,” the lawsuit claims.

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.