Speed Reads

court battles

Trump's legal team loses yet another effort to conceal his tax records

An appeals court ruled Wednesday that President Trump must turn his tax records over to Manhattan prosecutors, The Associated Press reports.

The latest update in the lengthy court battle comes from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, which upheld a previous ruling that will allow Trump's legal team to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in July that sitting presidents are not immune from state prosecution, and that subpoenas in such investigations can be enforced. Even so, Trump's lawyers argued that New York's subpoena for his tax returns was too broad and amounted to political harassment, reports The New York Times. The argument was unanimously rejected on Wednesday.

New York investigators are seeking Trump's tax information as part of a probe into the Trump Organization, investigating possible insurance and criminal tax fraud, falsification of business records, and a potential scheme to defraud, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance suggested last month. The probe also focuses on hush-money payments made to two women who say they had affairs with Trump. Trump's legal team has lost several efforts to keep the documents out of investigators' hands, on one occasion trying to sneak Trump's "total immunity" argument "through a back door," as one judge put it.

Even though multiple attempts to block the subpoena have failed (courts have rejected the president's legal arguments five times, per the Times), Trump is expected to keep fighting. A Times investigation revealed years of Trump's tax information, but he still won't hand over documents that could prove or disprove the reporting. Since the investigation and future rulings are expected to stretch beyond the November election, by the time it reaches the Supreme Court again, the bench could once again have nine justices if Trump's nominee Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed.