- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2020

President Trump’s legal team petitioned the Supreme Court Tuesday to block a lower court’s order for him to release his financial records in a New York criminal probe.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had issued a subpoena for the president’s personal financial records to his accounting firm Mazars USA to probe his family business dealings and a lower court had upheld the subpoena.

The subpoena sought eight years of the president’s tax returns.

Mr. Trump broke with tradition by not releasing his tax returns when running for president in 2016 and has continued to keep them under wraps, citing an ongoing IRS audit.

The Supreme Court previously weighed in on the issue in June, directing how the president could dispute the subpoena in the lower courts but permitting the subpoena battle to continue.

The president argued in court papers the subpoena is overbroad and was issued in bad faith.

The subpoena was similar to a congressional subpoena the Supreme Court batted away from House Democrats in June.

“There is concern that this subpoena, which makes sweeping demands and is copied from Congress, crosses the line — even were it aimed at ‘some other citizen’ instead of the president,” Mr. Trump’s petition read.

The petition argues the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave Mr. Cyrus the benefit of the doubt and “made the President shoulder the heavy burden of negating every speculative inference that might conceivably justify issuing a broad subpoena copied from Congress.”

Mr. Trump is asking the justices to halt the lower court’s order, preventing his accounting firm from handing over the financial records.

His legal team plans to file an appeal, seeking the high court’s review of the 2nd Circuit’s decision issued last week.

The three-judge appeals court panel was unanimous.

“Grand juries routinely issue multiple subpoenas seeking different information from different recipients during the course of their investigations, because, after all, they have a duty to follow ‘every available clue’ wherever it may lead,” the 2nd Circuit panel wrote in its 35-page opinion.

The circuit decision was handed down by Judges Pierre N. Leval, a Clinton appointee, Robert Katzmann, a Clinton appointee, and Raymond Lohier, an Obama appointee.

The matter likely won’t be resolved before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

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