August 21, 2020

Appeals court sets September 1 hearing on deadline for Trump’s financial records subpoena

(CNN) A federal appeals court refused to give President Donald Trump immediate relief to stop his accounting records from being turned over to a New York state grand jury, instead scheduling arguments for September 1 over whether the subpoena of Trump’s records should be paused.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had agreed to set the subpoena deadline for next week. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ schedule raises the possibility Trump’s records could go to the grand jury before the hearing unless the President seeks help from the Supreme Court.

Lawyers for Trump had filed an emergency request Friday for the court to put a subpoena for his financial documents and tax returns on hold until the higher court can weigh in on the matter.

The filing immediately followed a ruling by US District Judge Victor Marrero, who denied Trump’s request to put his decision dismissing the lawsuit on hold to allow the President’s legal team time to appeal.

Trump’s lawyers told the Second Circuit that without a stay it would result in “quintessential irreparable harm” by allowing the subpoena for the records to go ahead.

As part of an agreement between the President’s lawyers and the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the subpoena would not be enforced until seven calendar days from Marrero’s decision.

Trump’s lawyers are now asking the appeals court to not allow the subpoena to be enforced until one week after the appeals court rules on the case.

Trump’s emergency action is the latest effort to block a subpoena for eight years of personal and business records and tax returns.

Vance’s office has been examining whether Trump or the Trump Organization violated state laws in connection with hush money payments made to women alleging affairs with Trump. The investigation has also looked into whether business records filed with the state were falsified and if any tax laws were violated, CNN has reported.

On Thursday, Marrero ruled that the subpoena to Trump’s long-time accountant Mazars USA was valid and New York prosecutors could have access to Trump’s accounting records for a criminal investigation. Trump immediately moved to have the decision stayed while he appealed.

Marrero rejected that request on Friday saying he didn’t believe Trump’s argument would win.

“The Court is not persuaded that appellate review would be successful in any event. This argument cannot suffice to show irreparable harm,” Marrero wrote in denying Trump’s motion.

Trump had sued Vance to stop the grand jury subpoena of his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA for years of his records.

The subpoena asked for records from Mazars related to Trump, the Trump Organization, his foundation and several related subsidiaries. The requested documents, court records said, pertain not just to business in New York, but also in other states like Florida and California and countries including Turkey, Dubai, Canada and Indonesia.

By Kara Scannell and Katelyn Polantz

Leave a Reply