September 26, 2021

Trump urges appeals court to shield tax returns from N.Y. prosecutors


NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday urged a federal appeals court to block New York prosecutors from obtaining eight years of his tax returns, arguing that he was immune from criminal investigation as a sitting president.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

In a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, Trump said there was “broad bipartisan agreement, for decades if not centuries, that a sitting president cannot be subjected to criminal process.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, in August subpoenaed Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns from 2011 to 2018 and other records from the president’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA.

In Friday’s filing, Trump called Vance’s subpoena “irrelevant and overbroad,” and said it had been issued in “bad faith.”

Vance’s office could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.

Vance’s subpoena was part of a criminal probe into the Republican president and his family business. It came four weeks after another subpoena to the Trump Organization for records of hush money payments to two women prior to the 2016 election who said they had sexual relationships with Trump, which he denies.

The investigation, whose full scope is not publicly known, comes amid an impeachment inquiry and investigations into Trump’s finances by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Trump sued Vance’s office in Manhattan federal court to block the subpoena. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero threw out Trump’s lawsuit on Monday, calling his claim that he was immune from investigation “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.”

The 2nd Circuit has put Marrero’s order on hold, and is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on Oct. 23.

Separately, House committees are seeking to obtain Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) and Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N). Trump has asked the 2nd Circuit to bar the banks from turning over the records, which do not include tax returns.

The court has not yet ruled in that case.

The separate House impeachment inquiry focuses on the Republican president’s request in a July phone call for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden, the former vice president and a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Tom Brown

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Brendan Pierson