Trump loses bid to keep tax returns from New York prosecutors, appeals continue

NEW YORK — A federal judge on Friday denied a request by attorneys for President Donald Trump seeking the stay of a court order requiring the president to hand his tax returns over to investigators in New York.

Trump’s attorneys asked for a stay of the order and filed an emergency appeal Thursday after U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero sided with prosecutors in the fight over the president’s financial records. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is seeking records dating back to 2011 as part of an investigation into the Manhattan-based Trump Organization and the president’s alleged involvement in hush-money payments to two women ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

"The President has not demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm," Marrero wrote in a decision and order filed Friday in court.

Trump’s attorneys argued that the president would suffer irreparable harm if his financial records were turned over to the district attorney and the grand jury, which issued the subpoena for Trump’s tax returns in October 2019. Marrero said Friday that the cases cited in the president’s argument “do not pertain to ongoing criminal investigations, let alone investigations by grand juries who are sworn to secrecy.”

"Because a grand jury is under a legal obligation to keep the confidentiality of its records, the Court finds that no irreparable harm will ensue from the disclosure to it of the President's records sought here," Marrero wrote.

In a court filing Thursday, attorneys for Trump asked Marrero to delay the enforcement of the subpoena and said they were making the same request to an appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Though Marrero has declined to delay his order, Vance’s office has agreed to wait for one week before enforcing the subpoena, according to The Associated Press.

Last month, the Supreme Court upheld Marrero's previous ruling on the subpoena, which also ordered the president to turn over his records. Trump has frequently lambasted the request and others like it as forms of presidential harassment. Congress is also seeking Trump's financial returns as part of a separate investigation.

On Thursday, the president called the subpoena “the ultimate fishing expedition” and told reporters that he thinks the case will likely end up before the Supreme Court again.

“The Supreme Court shouldn’t have allowed this to happen,” the president said. “What the Supreme Court did do is say, if it’s a fishing expedition, you -- my interpretation is, essentially, you don’t have to do it. So, we’ll probably end up back in the Supreme Court. But this is just a continuation of the most hideous witch hunt in the history of our country.”

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