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Decision on subpoena for Trump tax returns now in hands of Supreme Court

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig looks at the various legal battles Trump could face if he loses the presidential election, and how his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, could impact the Affordable Care Act if she is confirmed by the Senate.

Posted: Oct 18, 2020 10:10 AM
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 1:30 PM


With just over two weeks until the presidential election, a decision on whether to further delay handing over President Donald Trump's financial records to New York prosecutors now rests with the Supreme Court after Trump's attorneys argued for a stay of the 'unprecedented' document request.

The brief is the final filing by the two sides before the court can decide whether to again push off enforcement of a subpoena by the Manhattan district attorney's office for years of Trump's financial records, including tax returns, from his longtime accountant, Mazars USA.

'Once the records are produced, the status quo can never be restored,' Trump's attorneys wrote, asking the court to again block enforcement of a subpoena that has been tied up in litigation for more than a year.

'The District Attorney's boilerplate reasons for why the grand jury needs these records immediately thus do not outweigh the irreparable harm that the President will suffer absent interim relief,' Trump's lawyers wrote.

Trump's lawyers have argued that the subpoena, which seeks eight years of financial records, is overbroad and was issued in bad faith, claims that were rejected by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court ruled earlier this month that 'there is nothing to suggest that these are anything but run-of-the-mill documents typically relevant to a grand jury investigation into possible financial or corporate misconduct.'

Trump's efforts to fight the subpoena have already reached the Supreme Court once before. Over the summer, the court ruled the President did not have broad immunity from a state grand jury subpoena.

In their filing Monday, Trump's lawyers reiterated their arguments alleging the Manhattan district attorney's office had acted in bad faith and pursued an overbroad set of documents, writing that the subpoena's 'near limitless reach -- in time, scope, and geographic reach -- has all the hallmarks of a fishing expedition.'

In court filings, the district attorney's office has said its investigation is more expansive than Trump's lawyers contend, and has suggested it could encompass inquiries regarding possible tax fraud, bank fraud and insurance fraud.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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