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Donald Trump is given a three week break from filing tax returns with the Manhattan Attorney's Office


A federal appeals court on Tuesday prevented a New York attorney from receiving Donald Trump's tax returns while the president's attorneys continue to battle a subpoena to obtain the filing. The committee consisting of three judges decided after brief arguments from both sides.

Trump's attorneys had asked for a temporary stay while appealing a lower court ruling that granted Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s office access to Trump's tax returns. An attorney from Vance's office had argued that further delays would only hamper their investigation.

"The question at this point is quite simple, but also very important," said Trump attorney William Consovoy.

"Will the President be given an opportunity to appeal this judgment before his personal records are disclosed to the grand jury and the status quo is irrevocably changed?"

A merit hearing on Trump's recent appeal will take place on September 25 after both sides agree to an accelerated schedule – meaning the matter could potentially be resolved before the November election.

New round in the tax battle: Donald Trump's attorneys filed their case with the judges of the federal appeals court to prevent Cy Vyance Jr., the Manhattan D.A., from gaining access to his taxes

New round in the tax battle: Donald Trump's attorneys filed their case with the judges of the federal appeals court to prevent Cy Vyance Jr., the Manhattan D.A., from gaining access to his taxes

Trump's attorneys appealed to the U.S. 2nd appeals court last month after a district judge denied their renewed efforts to invalidate a subpoena issued by his accounting firm. Judge John M. Walker Jr. said at the hearing on Tuesday that the subpoenas affected 11 companies that do business as far as Europe and Dubai.

Trump has blasted the longstanding search for his financial records as "the continuation of the most disgusting witch hunt in our country's history" and predicted the case would end again in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that the presidency itself does not protect Trump from Vance's investigation, but the Supreme Court returned the case to the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero for Trump's attorneys to raise other concerns about the subpoena.

Trump's attorneys then argued that the subpoena had been issued maliciously and too broadly, was possibly politically motivated, and amounted to harassment. Marrero denied these claims. Consovoy told the judges on Tuesday that the investigation was an "arbitrary fishing expedition".

Prosecutor's Carey Dunne said Trump and his attorneys had long misrepresented the scope of the investigation because they focused primarily on hush money payments made to protect Trump from allegations of adultery.

"Vance attorneys have stated that they are legally entitled to large records to aid in a" complex financial investigation. "

A page from Trump's 1995 tax records

A page from Trump's 1995 tax records

"The president has been complaining at every turn that we haven't announced what the grand jury is seeing as if that is itself malicious," said Dunne.

“But what the grand jury sees is of course secret. We are not allowed to publish what led to his speculation about the size of the grand jury. But none of these speculations are plausible. & # 39;

Even if Vance received Trump's tax records, they would be part of a confidential investigation by the grand jury and would not be automatically released.

Vance, a Democrat, began collecting the Republican president's tax return from his longtime accounting firm over a year ago after Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen told Congress that the president had misled tax officials, insurers, and business associates about the value of his tax return led assets.

Congress is also following Trump's financial records, despite the fact that the Supreme Court last month held the banking and other documents sought by Congress and referred the case back to a lower court.

Trump is the only modern day president who has refused to publish his tax returns. Before he was elected, he had promised to do so.

The district attorney is filing an eight-year tax return with Trump's long-standing accounting firm Mazars USA in connection with a criminal investigation into the president's business practices.

Trump has been fighting the subpoena for a year. He suffered defeat in July when the White House Supreme Court rejected his request for immunity from criminal investigations.

The tax returns are unlikely to be released before the November 3rd presidential election. Vance said the ongoing lawsuit has effectively given Trump the "temporary absolute immunity" that the courts have denied.

On August 20, US District Judge Victor Marrero refused to block the subpoena for the second time, saying, "Justice demands an end to this controversy."

However, the file filed on Monday said Trump did not revive his comprehensive immunity claim, instead arguing that the subpoena was issued overseas and in bad faith and that Vance needed to demonstrate why its contents were relevant to his investigation.

"The district attorney should not have been allowed to overturn the president in pursuing claims that the Supreme Court believed possible," the file said.

The filing stated that enforcing the subpoena would cause irreparable harm to Trump.

"It is the disclosure of these records to the government – not just the public – that results in injury," it said.

Marrero has repeatedly refused to block the subpoena. The US Supreme Court upheld one of its rulings last month, ruling that the presidency itself does not protect Trump from Vance's investigation.

However, the Supreme Court returned the case to Marrero's courtroom so Trump's attorneys could raise other concerns about the subpoena. They argued that it was issued maliciously, possibly politically motivated, and amounted to harassment.

The prosecutor's investigation includes records during the period in which porn star Stormy Daniels, who said she was having an affair with Trump, received a hush money payout. The President has denied the charge

The prosecutor's investigation includes records during the period in which porn star Stormy Daniels, who said she was having an affair with Trump, received a hush money payout. The President has denied the charge

Vance attorneys countered that they were entitled to extensive records to support a "complex financial investigation" and cited public reports of "extensive and protracted criminal conduct in the Trump organization."

Those arguments resulted in a flurry of decisions and appeals this week.

Trump blew up the long-standing search for his financial records on Thursday as "the continuation of the most disgusting witch hunt in our country's history".

Vance, a Democrat, began collecting the Republican president's tax return from his longtime accounting firm over a year ago after Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen told Congress that the president had misled tax officials, insurers, and business associates about the value of his assets guided.

The president said he expected the case to end in the Supreme Court.

Even if the tax documents are ultimately subpoenaed, they will not be published automatically as they are being sought as part of a confidential investigation by the grand jury.

Congress is also following Trump's financial records, despite the fact that the Supreme Court last month held the banking and other documents sought by Congress and referred the case back to a lower court.

Trump is the only modern day president who has refused to publish his tax returns. Before he was elected, he had promised to do so.

Trump had called the case a "witch hunt" when he spoke to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House last Thursday.

“Well, the Supreme Court said if it's a fishing expedition, you don't have to, and this is a fishing expedition. But more importantly, this is a sequel to the witch hunt, the greatest witch hunt in history, ”he said.

“There has never been anything like this where people would examine everything they have ever done to see if a comma was out of place. No president has ever had to go through this, ”he added.

The president predicted the case would fall back into the hands of the Supreme Court, which ruled last month the president had no immunity on the case, and sent it back to the lower court.

“We'll probably end up before the Supreme Court again. However, this is just a continuation of the most terrifying witch hunt in the history of our country, ”he added.

Trump complained that the prosecutor "wants to review every deal he has ever made".

& # 39; This is the ultimate fishing expedition. Nobody has anything. We are not doing anything wrong.

“But they'll say we'll go in and inspect every deal he's ever made. Let's get 10 years of papers – every paper, every deal he's ever signed, maybe we can find that a lawyer made a mistake with no & # 39; i & # 39; was given with no comma anywhere, and then we can do something. That's a shame. That should never happen again, ”he said.