Court to hear arguments in Trump tax return fight

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, file photo, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., speaks at a news conference in New York.

A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments Tuesday in President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to prevent a New York prosecutor from getting his tax returns.

Trump’s lawyers appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month after a district court judge rejected their renewed efforts to invalidate a subpoena issued to his accounting firm.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has agreed not to enforce the subpoena until after the appeals court makes a ruling. Neither the district court judge, Victor Marrero, nor the appeals court ordered a delay.

Trump has blasted the long-running quest for his financial records as a “continuation of the most disgusting witch hunt in the history of our country” and predicted the case would again end up before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that the presidency in itself doesn’t shield Trump from Vance’s investigation.

But the high court returned the case to Marrero’s courtroom to allow Trump’s lawyers to raise other concerns about the subpoena. They did, arguing that it was issued in bad faith, might have been politically motivated and amounted to harassment.

Even if Vance does get Trump’s tax records, they would be part of a confidential grand jury investigation and not automatically made public.

Vance’s attorneys have said they are legally entitled to extensive records to aid a “complex financial investigation.”

Vance, a Democrat, began seeking the Republican president’s tax returns from his longtime accounting firm over a year ago, after Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress that the president had misled tax officials, insurers and business associates about the value of his assets.

Congress is also pursuing Trump’s financial records, though the Supreme Court last month kept a hold on the banking and other documents that Congress has been seeking and returned the case to a lower court.

Trump is the only modern president who has refused to release his tax returns. Before he was elected, he had promised to do so.

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