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Supreme Court won't halt turnover of Trump's tax records
AP Feb 22, 2021 5 days ago
FILE - This Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, shows the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2021, file photo President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally for Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and David Perdue at Dalton Regional Airport in Dalton, Ga. Trump will be making his first post-presidential appearance at a conservative gathering in Florida next weekend. Ian Walters, spokesman for the American Conservative Union, confirmed that Trump will be speaking at the group's annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 28. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a significant defeat for former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records to a New York state prosecutor.
The court’s action is the apparent culmination of a lengthy legal battle that had already reached the high court once before.
Trump’s tax records are not supposed to become public as part of prosecutors' criminal investigation, but the high court’s action is a blow to Trump because he has long fought on so many fronts to keep his tax records shielded from view. The ongoing investigation that the records are part of could also become an issue for Trump in his life after the presidency.
In a statement, the Trump blasted prosecutors and said the “Supreme Court never should have let this ‘fishing expedition’ happen, but they did.” The Republican claimed the investigation is politically motivated by Democrats in “a totally Democrat location, New York City and State.” And he said he would “fight on” and that “We will win!”
The court offered no explanation for the delay, and the legal issue before the justices did not involve whether Trump was due any special deference because he was president.
The court’s order is a win for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who has been seeking Trump’s tax records since 2019 as part of an investigation. Vance, a Democrat, had subpoenaed the records from the Mazars accounting firm that has long done work for Trump and his businesses. Mazars has said it would comply with the subpoena, but Trump sued to block the records’ release.
Vance’s office had said it would be free to enforce the subpoena and obtain the records in the event the Supreme Court declined to step in and halt the records’ turnover, but it was unclear when that might happen. In a three-word statement Monday, Vance said only: “The work continues.”
The records Vance has been after are more than eight years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax records. Vance has disclosed little about what prompted him to seek them. In one court filing last year, however, prosecutors said they were justified in demanding the records because of public reports of “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”
Since the high court’s ruling, in the Vance case, Trump’s attorneys made additional arguments that his tax records should not be turned over, but they lost again in federal court in New York and on appeal. It was those rulings that Trump had sought to put on hold.
Associated Press reporter Jill Colvin contributed to this report.
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