The case concerns the Manhattan District Attorney's Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s attempt to enforce a summons to the President's Auditors for eight years of Trump's tax records.
Trump went to court to block the summons and made a broad statement claiming that Presidents in office are immune to investigation. A district court judge and panel of the US Circuit Court for the Second Circuit ruled against him that the summons was due and the president's long-standing audit firm, Mazars USA, had to abide by it.
Vance's office agreed to delay the enforcement of the subpoena when Trump's lawyers promptly called on the Supreme Court to hear the case.
"For the first time in the history of our country, a state or local prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation into the President of the United States and subjected him to a criminal investigation into criminal charges," wrote the lawyer for the president, Jay Alan Sekulov.
He added, "Politically motivated subpoenas like these are a perfect example of why a sitting president should be categorically immune to state criminal prosecution. "
Judges are not required to review the lower court's decision. But the chances of the Supreme Court being involved increased on Wednesday when a separate appeals court concluded in a separate case that Congress has a right to the same tax documents Supreme Court v Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. Both agreed that they rejected their pleas and that Trump might have difficulty meeting the prosecution and congressional tax information.
There will be a court case involving two Trump candidates, Justices NeilM. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh. In addition, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in media interviews prior to the 201
6 election criticized Trump's decision not to disclose his tax returns, as other presidential candidates had done.
"How did he get away from not filing his tax returns?" Ginsburg said in an interview with CNN. "The press seems to be very gentle in this regard." After criticism Ginsburg said she should not have commented on the candidate.
The court's ruling on whether to approve Trump's petitions for review of lower court decisions would likely give time for a full hearing before the judges of that term and a decision in the upcoming presidential election year.
Trump aggressively seeks to block its tax records and file lawsuits against congressional committees, two banks and Mazars If the courts so order, they would reverse the records.
Other cases of separation of powers that could reach the Supreme Court include the Congress's efforts to access edited parts of the report of Special Adviser Robert S. Mueller III on Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia's interference in these elections and lawsuits in which Trump's private companies are in breach of the compensation clauses of the constitution.
Vance said his office needed the file s for his investigation into suspected hush-money payments during the 2016 campaign to Stormy Daniels, an adult movie actress, and former playboy model Karen McDougal. Both women said they had contacted Trump, and Vance's office is checking that Trump officials have filed fake business records related to the payments. Trump has denied the matter and any wrongdoing.
Trump's attorney William S. Consovoy has argued that Trump in the White House has "temporary immunity from the President," not just for prosecution but also for investigation. At the New York Court of Appeal hearing, Consovoy responded to a judge's question that the president, while in office, could not even be investigated for shooting a person on the streets of Manhattan.
The Department of Justice filed a pleading motion in support of the President, but he failed to confirm Trump's claim that he had absolute immunity to an investigation. Instead, government lawyers said there were some cases where a local prosecutor could legally obtain a president's documents – but this was not one of them.
Vance rejected Trump's comprehensive immunity claims and said the president wanted "to invent and enforce new & # 39; taxpayer privilege & # 39; the President who prevents anyone from seeing his tax returns. "The law does not provide for such a privilege," Vance's office said in the court records of the 2nd Circuit.
US. District Judge Victor Marrero in New York described Trump's theory as "repugnant to the nation's governance structure and constitutional values."
A unanimous panel of the US Circuit Court for Circuit 2 issued a more cautious ruling against Trump.
Judge Robert A. Katzmann, who wrote for the majority, noted the Supreme Court's decision of 1974 that the White House extradite Nixon's tapes during a criminal investigation into his adjutants.
Trump has not convincingly explained why, if the executive's privilege did not do so In order to preclude the execution of the summons issued in Nixon the subpoena of Mazars must be condemned, although no privileged information has been obtained and There was no connection to the President's performance of his official duties. "
The decision of his panel was much more limited, he said and did not discuss whether Trump would be prosecuted.
"We are only asking if a state should legislate. Request in full the submission of the president's personal financial records by a third party for investigation by a large jury while the president is in office," Katzmann wrote.
"We note that the last six presidents to go back to President Carter voluntarily released their tax returns to the public. While we do not attach any dispositive weight to this fact, it does support our conclusion that the disclosure of personal financial information is unlikely to prejudice the President in the performance of his duties in office.
Unlike other disputes with former presidents The subpoena of Vance does not require Trump's action as it is directed against its auditing firm.
Trump's lawsuit against the House Oversight and Reform Committee was ripe for review by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, when the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit declined to review a verdict against Trump by a jury of the court.
A split jury of three court judges concluded in October that the House had issued its summons for "legitimate legislative purposes, not for improper law enforcement purposes," as the President's lawyers argued.
Contrary to the president's arguments, the committee has authority both on the house rules and on the fight against fraud. The subpoena must be approved by Mazars, "wrote Judge David S. Tatel, who also joined Judge Patricia A. Millett. Both were nominated by Democratic presidents.
Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump nominee, disagreed, and two other Republican-nominated judges pleaded unsuccessfully for a repeat.
Judge Gregory Katsas, another Trump candidate who had previously worked in the White House attorney's office, called the Congress summons a "threat to the presidency" and warned that there was one in the President's personal papers "Open season" would allow Congress to force the President to disclose personal records based on the possibility that it might inform the legislature.