A federal appeals court ruled Monday that President Donald Trump must turn over eight years of personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had formerly subpoenaed the tax documents from Trump’s accounting firm as part of an investigation into payments made pre-election to porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, two women who alleged having affairs with Trump, and reimbursements made to Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-attorney who is now serving a three-year federal prison sentence for campaign finance violations, among other crimes.
Trump lost the initial case before a federal district court on Oct. 7 before making his appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
According to NBC News, Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said he would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
“The decision of the Second Circuit will be taken to the Supreme Court,” Sekulow said. “The issue raised in this case goes to the heart of our Republic. The constitutional issues are significant.”
The Trump legal team’s major argument is that Trump should be granted presidential immunity, previously writing in attempt to block the subpoena that a sitting president can not be criminally investigated.
The three-judge panel that made its ruling Monday did not take an explicit opinion on the Trump team’s argument of presidential immunity. Instead, they claimed that the since the subpoena was directed at the president’s accounting firm, and not the president himself, that presidential immunity does not apply.
“We emphasize again the narrowness of the issue before us. This appeal does not require us to consider whether the president is immune from indictment and prosecution while in office, nor to consider whether the president may lawfully be ordered to produce documents for use in a state criminal proceeding,” an excerpt from the decision said, according to the New York Times.
The presidential immunity argument has never been tested in court. But with Monday’s decision and Trump’s resolve to take the case to the Supreme Court, the question actually may be resolved in due time.
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