Congress can request almost a decade of Donald Trump's tax filings, an appeals court said Wednesday, striking a new blow to the United States president as he attempts to keep his financial records out of Democrats' hands. A judge ruled last month that Trump's accounting firm had to turn over the records, a ruling temporarily blocked by a federal appeals court but later upheld by the court.
"In light of the well-reasoned dissent, we will seek review at the Supreme Court", Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow said in a statement. The appeals court's ruling takes effect this coming Wednesday, which means Sekulow will likely file an emergency petition to stay the ruling while the Supreme Court decides whether to take the case. A lawyer for the president promised to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The request focuses on his tax records from 2011 to 2018.
The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Mazars this year, saying it needed the records to determine if Trump complied with laws requiring disclosure of his assets, and to assess whether those laws needed to be changed.
And in yet another new filing in a third case Wednesday night, Trump's legal team asked a judge for a two-week buffer period if the US House asks for his tax returns through NY state.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, is seeking the returns as part of a criminal investigation into Trump and the Trump Organization, the president's family real estate business.
None of the judges in the majority filed a new opinion supplementing the panel's ruling.
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Judge Neomi Rao, who was appointed by Trump to the DC appeals court, dissented from the October decision.
A third catch, Karen Henderson, appointed to the circuit by President George H.W. Bush, signed onto their reasoning.
Vance's subpoena in NY, however, is part of an investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign violated state law by doling out hush-money payments to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
"If the competing opinions here demonstrate anything, it is that this case presents exceptionally important questions regarding the separation of powers among Congress, the Executive Brand and the Judiciary", said Trump appointee Katsas in his dissenting opinion, calling the subpoena a "threat to presidential autonomy and independence".
In her new opinion, she also rejected House Democrats' argument that the question of which kind of legal authority it was invoking was no longer of "practical consequence" because two weeks ago, the full House voted for a resolution endorsing the impeachment investigation, which it styled as "ongoing".
"The panel's analysis of these issues misapprehends the gravamen of the Committee's subpoena and glosses over the hard questions it raises for the separation of powers", she wrote. The panel ruled 3-0 that Trump can't block the subpoena.