Appeals Court Slams Trump On Tax Subpoena Delay

A 3-judge panel in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard Donald Trump’s lawyers argue Friday that he should not have to comply with the Manhattan District Attorney’s subpoena demanding his financial documents. The judges did not return a decision immediately, but didn’t seem to support the arguments offered by his attorneys.

Donald Trump in appeals court
[Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]

The appeal is another episode in Trump’s ongoing saga to resist the subpoena that the Manhattan DA submitted months ago. According to the Associated Press, the probe into possible financial crimes by Donald Trump includes a demand for eight years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. The president has claimed this is harassment, and his legal team argues that it’s politically motivated and that the demand is too broad, a “fishing expedition.”

Courthouse News reported on Friday’s hearing, and while judges did not declare a conclusion, it didn’t sound like they were accepting the Trump legal team’s arguments. The judges did not accept arguments that Trump has a right to know exactly what the scope of the investigation is, with Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Katzmann responding to an argument about secrecy by saying, “Are you asking us to change the ways grand juries have worked since time immemorial?”

Reporter Adam Klasfeld, live-tweeting the hearing, noted that U.S. Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier asked if Trump’s team would still consider the investigation ‘overbroad’ if it was limited to a shorter period of time, and Trump’s attorney, William Consovoy, confirmed that they would consider any document request overbroad. “That’s a problem,” the judge responded.

The court also noted that while D.A. Cyrus Vance has agreed to hold off on enforcing the subpoenas, there has been no order explicitly requiring him to do so, and he could potentially demand to inspect financial information immediately.

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