Appeals Court OKs Vance’s Trump Tax Return Subpoena
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously refused to block a subpoena of President Donald Trump’s tax returns for an ongoing fraud investigation headed up by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, reports Courthouse News Service. Though the scope of the criminal probe remains unknown, Trump has been fighting to keep a grand jury from seeing his financial records. Vance’s subpoenas are similar to those sought by the House Oversight Committee. Trump attorney William Consovoy panned the effort as overbroad, politically motivated and a rehash of the federal prosecution of the president’s disgraced ex-fixer Michael Cohen.
On Wednesday morning, a three-judge panel rejected each of those arguments. “First, the president’s bare assertion that the scope of the grand jury’s investigation is limited only to certain payments made by Michael Cohen in 2016 amounts to nothing more than implausible speculation,” the court said. “Second, without the benefit of this linchpin assumption, all other allegations of overbreadth — based on the types of documents sought, the types of entities covered, and the time period covered by the subpoena, as well as the subpoena’s near identity to a prior congressional subpoena — fall short of meeting the plausibility standard. Similarly, the president’s allegations of bad faith fail to raise a plausible inference that the subpoena was issued out of malice or an intent to harass.” Another Supreme Court battle is likely imminent, as Vance and Trump agreed to hold off on the subpoenas to the president’s accounting firm Mazars until the high court had its final say. The Supreme Court previously rejected Trump’s effort to declare himself immune from criminal investigations.