A federal appeals court has granted President Donald Trumps request to hold a lower courts ruling that would have allowed the Manhattan district attorney to enforce his subpoena for the presidents tax returns.
The 2nd Circuit Court ruling on Tuesday allows Trump to temporarily shield eight years of his tax returns and financial documents from being released to New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. while the president appeals the district court decision. Vance has been seeking the documents as part of a grand jury probe.
The appeals court also set a Sept. 25 hearing to allow the parties to argue whether Trumps claim that the grand jury subpoena is overbroad and issued in bad faith is plausible. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero on Aug. 20 dismissed the claim, saying that Trumps newest challenge was a roundabout way for the president to invoke immunity from judicial processes.
Earlier on Tuesday, the parties appeared before the appeals court for a brief hearing to argue whether a stay on the district courts ruling should be granted pending the appeal. During the hearing, Trumps lawyer told the judges that absent a stay, the president would escalate the dispute to the Supreme Court.
Trumps lawyers continued to argue that the president would suffer irreparable harm if the documents were disclosed to the district attorney. They said that once the documents are turned over to the district attorney there could be third party requests for the documents and issues arising from grand jury secrecy exceptions.
“Well be in a new round of problems at that point. And I think its fair to say there are innumerable people who might want to make such requests,” William Consovoy, the presidents lawyer, told the court.
Meanwhile, the counsel for the Manhattan district attorneys office, Carey Dunne, told the court that “the toothpaste can be put back into the tube” if the court later upheld Trumps latest complaint and the documents had already been turned over the district attorney.
“The remedies can include not just the destruction or return of the documents, [or] striking of testimony, but yes, … courts have required the impaneling of a new grand jury so that the new grand jury is not tainted by any exposure to the earlier materials,” he said.
The president has been fighting Vances subpoena since 2019. The case went to the Supreme Court after lower courts denied Trumps request for relief from the subpoena.
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