SUPREME COURT ALLOWS RELEASE OF TRUMP TAX PAPERS TO NY PROSECUTOR
The Supreme Court (SC) has cleared the way for a New York prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump's tax returns, dealing a massive loss to Trump who has fiercely fought to shield his financial papers from prosecutors, Ariane de Vogue reported for CNN.
The documents will be subject to grand jury secrecy rules that restrict their public release. The ruling was issued without comment or dissent. The subpoenas span documents from January 2011 to August 2019, including his tax returns, from Trump's long time accounting firm, Mazars.
The documents relate to the Trump Organization's employment of Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen and hush money payment Cohen allegedly made to two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with Trump.
Lawyers said the ruling is a bitter loss for Trump even if the tax records are shielded from public disclosure since he had consistently argued that the subpoena issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was overbroad and issued in bad faith.
It means that the grand jury investigation into alleged hush money payments and other issues will no longer be hampered by Trump's fight to keep the documents secret.
Last July, the SC, voting 7-2, rejected the Trump's broad claims of immunity from a state criminal subpoena seeking his tax returns and said that as president, he was not entitled to any kind of heightened standard unavailable to ordinary citizens.
The justices sent the case back to the lower court so that the president could make more targeted objections regarding the scope of the subpoena.
In October, a federal appeals court said "there is nothing to suggest that these are anything but run-of-the-mill documents typically relevant to a grand jury investigation into possible financial or corporate misconduct."