The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that it will not stop a grand jury from obtaining former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation.
The justices rebuffed Trump’s request to put an Oct. 7 lower court ruling on hold that directs the former commander-in-chief’s accounting company Mazars USA to comply with a subpoena to turn over the taxes and documents to a grand jury that was convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.
The New York grand jury will be able to obtain the records and look at them in secret, meaning that the records will not become public any time soon, although the possibility of leaks to legacy news media cannot be ruled out.
The court issued a single-sentence ruling on Monday (pdf): “The application for a stay presented to Justice Breyer and referred to the Court is denied.” The justices did not provide an explanation.
In July, the top court ruled that the president and any other citizen is not “categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.” They suggested Trump could challenge Vance’s subpoena on other grounds.
Last year, Trump’s lawyers said that the attempt to review his taxes was done in bad faith and was excessive. The Supreme Court also tossed the former president’s claim of “absolute immunity.”
Trump’s attorneys had also told the Supreme Court that he will suffer “irreparable harm” if the materials are turned over to the grand jury.
“Even if the disclosure of his papers is limited to prosecutors and grand jurors, the status quo can never be restored once confidentiality is destroyed,” his lawyers stated in court papers in October.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance holds up a bank card scamming machine on Aug 15, 2012. (Courtesy of William Alatriste/New York City Council)
“Interim relief is also warranted given the irreparable harm the President will suffer without a stay. Even if the disclosure of his papers is limited to prosecutors and grand jurors, the status quo can never be restored once confidentiality is destroyed,” they wrote in their 46-page appeal.
But Vance previously said the delay has hampered his investigation.
The former commander-in-chief “has had multiple opportunities for review of his constitutional and state law claims, and at this juncture he provides no grounds for further delay,” Vance said around the same time. “His request for extraordinary relief should be denied, and the grand jury permitted to do its work.”
Vance’s subpoenas span from January 2011 until August 2019, relating to the Trump Organization’s employment of his former attorney, Michael Cohen.
Mazars USA has said it is not contesting the subpoena and will comply with legal obligations.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Trump’s Save America PAC for comment.
The Supreme Court case is Trump v. Vance, 20A63.
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