A federal appeals court ruled Monday that President Donald Trump’s tax returns must be turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who had subpoenaed the documents from Trump’s accounting firm as part of an investigation into the pre-election payoffs to two women who alleged affairs with Trump.
Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said he would appeal the case to the Supreme Court. Trump had earlier lost the initial case before a federal district court, and it was since fast-tracked.
“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 three-judge panel wrote in their decision that “any presidential immunity from state criminal process does not extend to investigative steps like the grand jury subpoena at issue here,” affirming the lower court’s ruling on that question.
Vance is seeking to obtain eight years of Trump’s tax documents through his account firm, Mazars USA, to evaluate the Trump Organization’s role in the payouts to porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, as well as the reimbursements made to Trump’s former longtime attorney Michael Cohen, who is now serving a three-year federal prison sentence for a litany of crimes, including campaign finance violations. Daniels and McDougal claimed to have had affairs with Trump, allegations he has denied.
Because the tax documents were requested under a grand jury subpoena, it’s unlikely they will become public if turned over. Trump is engaged in a series of legal battles across the country to keep his tax returns private.