A Washington D.C. Circuit judge has rejected President Trump’s appeal of a judge’s ruling that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office can legally subpoena for the president’s tax returns, officials said.
Continue Reading Below
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday ordered Mazars USA, an accounting firm used by Trump and the Trump Organization, to hand over the eight-years’ worth of tax returns pertaining to both parties.
At the end of August, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. subpoenaed Mazars USA, arguing that they were part of "an ongoing state criminal prosecution," according to court papers.
Then, on Sept. 19, Trump sued Vance, a Democrat, and the accounting firm, calling the subpoena “unconstitutional.”
"Because the Mazars subpoena attempts to criminally investigate a sitting president, it is unconstitutional," court papers argued. "This court should declare it invalid and enjoin its enforcement until the president is no longer in office."
But a federal court judge on Monday denounced Trump’s claims, writing:
"As the Court reads it, presidential immunity would stretch to cover every phase of criminal proceedings, including investigations, grand jury proceedings and subpoenas, indictment, prosecution, arrest, trial, conviction, and incarceration,” wrote U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in his Oct. 7 ruling. “That constitutional protection presumably would encompass any conduct, at any time, in any forum, whether federal or state, and whether the President acted alone or in concert with other individuals."
The president’s attorneys immediately appealed.
On Friday, D.C. Circuit Judges David Tatel and Patricia Millett, who were both appointed by Democratic presidents, ruled that “Mazars must comply.”
Trump appointee Neomi Rao wrote in dissent that the committee should have asked for the records under the House's impeachment power, not its legislative authority.
Trump’s legal team is now “reviewing options.”
“While we are reviewing the court’s lengthy decision, as well as Judge Rao’s dissent,” said Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, “we continue to believe that this subpoena is not a legitimate exercise of Congress’s legislative authority.”
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts contributed to this story.