Manhattan prosecutor agrees to shelve subpoena for Trump tax returns
Manhattan’s top prosecutor on Monday agreed to delay enforcement of a subpoena for eight years of President Trump’s tax returns.
Cyrus Vance Jr., the Democratic district attorney for Manhattan, had the legal right as of this Friday to enforce a New York grand jury subpoena to obtain a lengthy financial paper trail that includes Trump’s corporate and personal tax records.
But Vance has agreed to temporarily shelve the subpoena against Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA. The delay allows for another round of litigation, extending the nearly yearlong court battle over the subpoena in which Trump has lost every bout, including a landmark decision last month at the Supreme Court.
The deal between the Manhattan district attorney’s office and Trump’s lawyers comes after a federal district judge in New York last week denied Trump’s latest bid to invalidate the subpoena.
Within hours, Trump’s personal attorneys asked the New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to halt the judge’s ruling from taking effect while they mount an appeal. The appeals court denied Trump’s request for an emergency stay.
The developments freed up Vance’s office to pursue Trump’s taxes as early as this Friday, following a weeklong lag that Vance had previously agreed to. But instead of executing the subpoena for Trump’s records, Vance agreed to delay things further.
As a result of the deal, Trump has at least one more opportunity to argue in court that the subpoena for his tax records is unlawful. The 2nd Circuit will hear arguments Sept. 1.
The dispute over access to Trump’s financial records arose after Vance obtained a grand jury subpoena for Trump’s accounting firm, which Trump has tried for nearly a year to fend off in court fights.
Last month the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s claim that presidents enjoy absolute immunity from criminal probes, but said he could raise additional objections to the subpoena in lower courts.
Judge Victor Marrero, a federal trial court judge in the Southern District of New York, last week dismissed Trump’s argument that the subpoena was overly broad and issued in bad faith.
Marrero rejected Trump’s argument, saying it “amounts to absolute immunity through a back door.” The ruling prompted Trump’s appeal to the 2nd Circuit.
Vance’s office is looking into payments made to silence two women who allege they had affairs with Trump, including adult-film star Stormy Daniels, before he became president, as well as possibly extensive criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.
Even if prosecutors manage to obtain the president’s tax returns prior to the November election, it’s unlikely the public will see them before then due to grand jury secrecy rules.
—Updated at 12:20 p.m.