Law & the Courts

Trump Lawyers Prepare to Take Battle over Tax Returns to Supreme Court

People line up outside the Supreme Court as it resumes oral arguments at the start of its new term in Washington, D.C., October 7, 2019. (Mary F. Calvert/Reuters)

Lawyers for President Trump are planning to take the fight over the release of the President’s tax returns to the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal counsel, told Politico that he plans to file the first petition in the case on Thursday afternoon. The petition will challenge a November 4 ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars LLP, must release the President’s financial records as part of a subpoena filed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

The Supreme Court is not required to hear Sekulow’s petition during the court’s current term. If it agreed to do so, the court would likely rule on the petition by the end of June just as the 2020 presidential election enters the final stretch.

Sekulow will file another petition to the Supreme Court for a separate case, in which the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a House Oversight Committee subpoena for Trump’s financial records. The appeals court’s ruling takes effect this coming Wednesday, which means Sekulow will likely file an emergency petition to stay the ruling while the Supreme Court decides whether to take the case.

Trump promised to release his financial records during his 2016 presidential campaign, but has refused to do so. Democrats have since tried to force Trump to release the records through various legal challenges.

Vance’s subpoena in New York, however, is part of an investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign violated state law by doling out hush-money payments to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels alleged having a sexual encounter with Trump shortly after the birth of the President’s youngest son Barron, a charge Trump has vehemently denied.

Trump lawyer and fixer Michael D. Cohen was found guilty of federal campaign finance violations after paying $130,000 to Daniels, and is currently serving a three-year prison sentence.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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