The saga of whether the public will ever get to see Donald Trump’s tax returns just got a little bit more interesting.
A federal appeals panel ruled Wednesday that the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., can obtain Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns under a subpoena, rejecting the president’s argument that the probe amounted to political harassment.
“None of the president’s allegations, taken together or separately, are sufficient to raise a plausible inference that the subpoena was issued out of malice or an intent to harass,” wrote the panel, presiding in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Should Trump appeal the decision, as he is expected to do, the case will head to the Supreme Court, according to the New York Times.
The decision is the latest setback for Trump in his long-standing fight with Vance’s office over the release of documents.
Last August, New York prosecutors issued a subpoena for eight years of Trump’s tax returns and other records, indicating the possibility of a wider criminal investigation. Since then, the dispute has gone through several courts, with Trump’s arguments repeatedly knocked back.
In July, the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s argument of immunity, but allowed him to challenge the subpoena on its scope. The lower court’s rejection of that effort reflects the possibility that the district attorney will look at Trump’s real estate transactions for possible wrongdoing.
A New York Times investigation revealed last month that the president had paid just $750 in taxes in 2016 and again in 2017. But the newspaper did not publish Trump’s returns. [NYT] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan