- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 1, 2020

President Trump on Tuesday scored at least a temporary victory in his bid to shield his tax returns and financial records from New York prosecutors.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit delayed the enforcement of a subpoena issued to the president’s accounting firm from the Manhattan district attorney. The three-judge panel said it needed more time to weigh Mr. Trump’s argument that the subpoena is a fishing expedition.

A spokesman for District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. declined to comment on the ruling.

The court scheduled oral arguments for Sept. 25, after both sides agreed to an expedited schedule. That means the fight could be decided before the presidential election Nov. 3.

But even if Mr. Vance does get the tax returns, they likely would be part of a confidential grand jury investigation and would not become public unless an indictment were issued.

Unless the 2nd Circuit overturns a lower court’s decision, Mr. Trump would then have to take his case to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court last month ruled that the presidency doesn’t shield Mr. Trump from the investigation. However, the court did return the case to a U.S. district judge so the president’s lawyers could raise other legal arguments.

Mr. Vance subpoenaed Mazurs USA, the president’s accounting firm, as part of an investigation into hush-money payments made in 2016 to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

The president has denied the affairs.

Mr. Trump has blasted the investigation as a politically motivated “witch hunt,” while his lawyers say the subpoena was issued in bad faith to harass the president.

Congress also is pursuing Mr. Trump’s financial records, though the Supreme Court returned that case also to a lower court.

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