Appeals Court Rules Trump's Accountants Must Turn Over Tax Records

Appeals Court Rules Trump's Accountants Must Turn Over Tax Records

Appeals Court Rules Trump's Accountants Must Turn Over Tax Records

A federal appeals court ruled this week that President Donald Trump's accounting firm must turn over his tax returns to NY state prosecutors. The report also revealed that state criminal prosecutors could probe the president so long as he holds office.

Trump's lawyers claimed in court that their client doesn't need to abide by Vance's injunction because as president of the United States he can not be prosecuted for an offense.

The three-judge panel on the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in NY rejected Trump's argument that he is immune from criminal prosecution and investigation while president.

A top House Democrat on Friday issued subpoenas for six years of President Donald Trump's tax returns, giving Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig a deadline of next Friday to deliver them.

The ruling by the New York-based second United States circuit court of appeals backed the ability of prosecutors to enforce a subpoena for the returns against accounting firm Mazars.

After the NY case decision, Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow told reporters that Trump plans to take that case to the Supreme Court as well.

The court said it would "exact a heavy toll on our criminal justice system to prohibit a state from even investigating potential crimes committed" by the president - for possible prosecution after he leaves office - or by others without immunity "simply because the proof of those alleged crimes involves the president".

Asked what would happen if Trump shot someone on Fifth Avenue, the president's attorney said nothing could be done to Trump until after he left office. The ruling prompted Mr. Trump's appeal to the 2nd Circuit. In one case, a court in Washington ruled 2-1 against his attempt to block a congressional subpoena for his records.

The three-judge panel on the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in NY rejected Trump's argument that he is immune from criminal investigation and prosecution.

Vance is seeking eight years of Trump's taxes in connection with an investigation into hush money payments Trump made to women during the 2016 presidential campaign.

US District Judge Victor Marrero wrote in his ruling that Trump's argument implied "the constitutional dimensions of the presidential shield from judicial process are virtually limitless".

In Monday's decision, the court said the "most relevant precedent" was the Supreme Court's 1974 ruling in USA v. Nixon, upholding a subpoena to President Richard Nixon for tape recordings and documents relating to his conversations with aides and advisers. "Considering the foregoing, the President has neither demonstrated that he is likely to prevail on, nor raised sufficiently serious questions going to the merits of, his immunity claim, and so he is not entitled to preliminary injunctive relief".

Vance's lawyers have said in court papers that the records being sought relate to business and financial matters rather than official acts by Trump and primarily stem from the time period before he became president. Trump has denied them.

Vance has said that, at this stage of the investigation, Trump "has not been identified as a defendant, nor is there an assumption he will be".

Vance's investigation comes as the president faces impeachment hearings initiated by House Democrats after Mr. Trump tried to get Ukraine's leader to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.

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