Updated: March 3, 2021
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the release of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a New York prosecutor. The ruling was issued without comment or dissent.
The ruling comes almost seven months after the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to reject Trump’s broad claims of immunity from a state criminal subpoena seeking his tax returns. The Supreme Court had ruled in July last year that Trump was not entitled to any kind of heightened standard unavailable to ordinary citizens, and sent his case back to the lower court for the president to make more targeted objections regarding the scope of the subpoena.
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Last October, a federal appeals court ruled that the documents could be released to the grand jury. However, Trump’s personal lawyers took the case back to the Supreme Court. Trump urged the Apex Court to put the lower court ruling on hold while the justices considered whether to take up the appeal, CNN reported.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled that the tax records could be released to the grand jury, a devastating blow to Trump who fought ruthlessly to shield his financial records from prosecutors.
However, the documents will be subject to a grand jury secrecy rules that restrict their public release but may be used against him in court.
CNN noted that “the ruling is a bitter loss for Trump, even if the tax records are shielded from public disclosure, after he consistently argued that the subpoena issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was overbroad and issued in bad faith,” adding that the ruling means “the grand jury investigation into alleged hush money payments and other issues will no longer be hampered by Trump’s fight to keep the documents secret.”
The network added that the subpoena span “documents from January 2011 to August 2019, including his tax returns, from Trump’s long time accounting firm, Mazars.
The documents being sought by New York prosecutors relate to the Trump Organization’s employment of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen and hush money payment Cohen allegedly made to two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with Trump.