- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2019

The Supreme Court announced Monday evening that the president’s accounting firm doesn’t have to hand over his tax returns sought by House Democrats — for now — issuing a temporary injunction.

The chief justice granted the Trump administration’s request to put the House subpoena for the records on hold until the president files his appeal with the court by Dec. 5.

Should the court agree to hear the case, the injunction will stay in place preventing House Democrats from getting their hands on the documents for their impeachment probe. But if the court declines to hear the president’s challenge, the injunction would expire and the documents would be turned over.

“The application for stay of the mandate presented to the Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted,” the order read.

The president’s legal team is protesting a lower court’s ruling, siding with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which issued a subpoena in February for eight years of the president’s tax returns in the House Democrats’ impeachment investigation.

They specifically sought financial records dating back to 2011 from Mazars USA LLP, the accounting firm for the president.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers told the justices a stay of the appeals court decision was necessary so that the justices could review a case of first impression, warning against the implications of the lower court’s move if Mr. Trump has to turn over his personal financial records at this time.

“Given the temptation to dig up dirt on political rivals, intrusive subpoenas into personal lives of presidents will become our new normal in times of divided government — no matter which party is in power. If every committee chairman is going to have this unbounded authority, this court should be the one to say so,” Mr. Trump’s lawyers had argued in court papers.

House Democrats had sought the records to investigate whether the president broke any campaign finance laws.

The probe came after Mr. Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen said porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal received money for their silence during the 2016 presidential campaign, signing deals not to come forward with accounts of alleged affairs with the president dating back to 2006.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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