Second Circuit Rules Against Trump OnTax Returns

Another loss for Donald Trump. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the subpoena for 8 years of tax returns to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance is enforceable and he is not entitled to a prelimary injunction. You can read the decision here. The Court emphasized the "narrowness" of its ruling:

We emphasize again the narrowness of the issue before us. This appeal does not require usto consider whether the President is immune from
indictment and prosecution while in office, nor to consider whether the President may lawfully be ordered to producedocuments for use in a state criminal proceeding. We accordingly do not address those issues. The only question before us is whether a state may lawfully demand production by a third party of the President' s personal financial record sfor use in a grand jury investigation while the President is in office.

With the benefit of the district court's well
articulated opinion, we hold that any preside ntial immunity from state criminal process does not bar the enforcement of such a subpoena.

Trump will appeal to the Supreme Court.

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    Sean Doolittle (none / 0) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 04, 2019 at 05:03:01 PM EST
    was criticized for not going with his Nats' team mates to the White House---because such action did not respect the office of president.

    Meanwhile, on this day, the Second Circuit ruled that the subpoena of the tax records held by the accounting firm of the occupant of the office of president is enforceable. The case involves, among other matters, investigation of possible illegal deductions for, or handling of, hush money payments to a porn star and playboy model.

    Also today, E. Jean Carroll, an advise columnist for Elle Magazine, filed a suit against the occupant of the presidential office for making a series of false and defamatory statements regarding her story of his raping her in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman.

    My comment on this development (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 04, 2019 at 07:46:36 PM EST
    is mistakenly posted as a comment to the following item, on the Mueller memos release.

    So, it turns out, that the DA has consented (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 04, 2019 at 08:02:51 PM EST
    to forebear from enforcement of the subpoena while the Supreme Court considers whether to take the case (and while the case is under consideration, if the Court does take it), according to the best Supreme Court journalist, Lyle Dennison. This is a deal, in exchange for Tr*mp's lawyers' agreeing to move fast (within ten days) filing their appeal. As a result there will be no stay litigation, and thus no early signal of how the wind is blowing.

    So, we will know (none / 0) (#4)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 04, 2019 at 08:29:09 PM EST
    very soon if the Supreme Court grants cert, no?  And it takes four votes for cert?

    They have promised to file within ten days (none / 0) (#5)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 04, 2019 at 09:17:43 PM EST
    and the DA to respond within ten days. Maybe three to five weeks from then to an order granting or denying review, so perhaps six to eight weeks in all. And yes, four votes to grant the petition. Then several months to a decision, possibly as late as June (if they take the case). A normal case can take much longer. I won an appeal in late February, from which the DA filed a cert petition (seeking S.Ct. review) in late May. We filed the Brief in Opposition (after several extensions) in late September. The DA's petition was denied this morning (five weeks later).

    So It Might Be As Late as June (none / 0) (#8)
    by RickyJim on Tue Nov 05, 2019 at 09:43:34 AM EST
    before any tax and other financial records see the light of day?  I see all sorts of strange scenarios in both the campaign and impeachment sagas if it takes that long.  Is it possible that Trump's team can postpone it until after the election?

    The outcome of this case would not be (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 05, 2019 at 10:27:31 AM EST
    that the tax returns would "see the light of day." Certainly not a direct result. The case involves a state grand jury subpoena, which is subject to strict investigative secrecy. If charges result, then the returns might become public if they are used as evidence in open court.

    The public reveal (none / 0) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 05, 2019 at 11:17:57 AM EST
    of Trump's tax returns is unlikely to affect the inevitability of impeachment.  The tax information may be the icing, but the cake is the subversion of US foreign policy for corrupt personal ends.   Trump used congressionally appropriated  aid to the beleaguered ally, Ukraine, as well as the promise of a desired White House visit, to try to extort Ukraine's President to announce investigations that would benefit Trump personally and politically.

    Trump's tax returns would surely be interesting, but probably just confirmatory of what is widely suspected---dubious from start to finish.  It might impact the presidential campaign, but the past frauds, such as Trump University and the closing down of the Trump Foundation have not driven those diner deplorable, or many so-called undecided ( who is undecided at the point?) into the arms of Democrats.


    There is a third procedural possibility (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 05, 2019 at 10:24:36 AM EST
    besides "denying cert" (letting the lower opinion stand without the S.Ct. itself taking any position on the issues) and granting cert for full briefing and argument. Sometimes, when a majority think the lower court's opinion is very clearly right (or wrong), and the case deserves a S.Ct.-level precedent but there is nothing to be gained from further briefing, the Court will grant cert and issue a "per curiam" (short and unsigned; not necessarily unanimous) opinion at the same time, which has the same weight in the future as any other S.Ct. precedent.

    So am I right in thinking that (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 05, 2019 at 08:14:26 AM EST
    It's simpler if Vance wins because it's a third party so if Trump loses there won't be a question of defying a court order.  Which I would expect Trump to do if the lawsuit was directed at him instead of his accountants?

    Mazars unlikely to defy?

    Yes, you are correct (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 05, 2019 at 09:32:47 AM EST
    In the court of appeals, the Mazars accounting firm "took no position," that is, they said they would do whatever the court ruled they should.

    Trump admitted to (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 08, 2019 at 11:57:59 AM EST
    misusing nonprofit funds, thereby breaching responsibilities, as a part of a settlement to a civil suit regarding his now defunct Foundation.

    The deal with the NY Attorney General included the disbursement of the Foundation's remaining assets ($1.78 million) along with $2 million in damages (a fine) to a collection of Court approved charities. Trump is also required to reimburse $11,525 for payment of auction items at a charitable benefit.

    Trump agreed to restrictions on any future charitable service--a majority of the Charity's Board of Directors must not be Trump family members or business entities. Don jr., Ivanka and Eric (members of the Trump Foundation Board)are mandated to participate in training about running charities.

    The Trump Foundation bought an autographed Tim Tebow helmet, a portrait of Trump to be displayed in one his golf club properties, and was used for payouts for lawsuits.  A fundraiser before the Iowa caucuses was found to violate rules governing nonprofit charities.

    Seems to me, off the top, that the Iowa fundraiser (none / 0) (#13)
    by Peter G on Fri Nov 08, 2019 at 03:11:16 PM EST
    would also be in violation of the federal tax law (sec 501(c)) and federal campaign finance law, as well as NY charities law.

    The Supreme Court petition filed Thursday (none / 0) (#14)
    by Peter G on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 08:37:18 PM EST
    to challenge this decision is very well written, but totally misrepresents the legal point at issue.