A federal appeals court on Monday roundly, and rightly, rejected President Trump’s bid to keep his tax records from a Manhattan grand jury. But the ruling almost certainly won’t result in the public release of Trump’s tax returns any time soon. For that, we’ll have to look to Albany — or Washington — for help.
Monday’s decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals arises from Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s criminal investigation into “hush-money payments” made to actress Stormy Daniels. In that probe, the DA obtained a grand jury subpoena ordering the president’s longtime accountants, Mazars USA, to provide tax returns filed by Trump and his businesses since 2011. The ruling Monday rebuffed Trump’s attempt to block that subpoena.
The decision is a much-deserved defeat for Trump, whose lawyer had, astonishingly, argued in the case that if the president shot someone while walking down Fifth Ave., the Manhattan DA and the NYPD could do nothing about it as long as Trump remained in office. Trump’s lawyers say they will now seek relief from the Supreme Court, and if the justices agree to hear the case, that could stall efforts to obtain the documents for several more months. But the justices also might decide to steer clear and allow the grand jury probe to run its course. It’s anyone’s guess which option they will choose.
Here’s what we do know: Even if Vance wins, we are highly unlikely to see Trump’s tax returns this way.
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