Court Rejects Trump’s Appeal in Fight Over Financial Records

Trump heads to Supreme Court for second time over tax records

Court blocks Trump bid to keep financial records from Congress

For the second time in less than a week President Donald Trump has said he'll go to the US Supreme Court to appeal court rulings threatening to expose his tax records. But Trump petitioned the full court to erase that ruling and reconsider the case.

Last week, Trump's lawyers told a judge they'll ask the Supreme Court to block a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney seeking his tax filings and other financial records in a grand jury investigation.

Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow said Wednesday that they will appeal the decision to Supreme Court, noting "well reasoned dissent" from three judges to Wednesday's opinion.

He said that because the records are "personal" and not related to the office of the presidency, the "unavailability" of an assertion of executive privilege "creates an open season on the President's personal records".

© Susan Walsh/AP President Trump at the White House on October 25.

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Trump is the first president in over 40 years not to release his tax returns. The panel had ruled 3-0 that Trump can't block the subpoena.

The case centers on the House Oversight Committee's subpoena from March as they were investigating Trump allegedly urging the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son.

The request for information followed testimony from Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen that Trump had exaggerated his wealth when he sought loans.

Lawyers for House Democrats rejected that argument, maintaining that it was well within Congress' constitutional authority to seek the records - both as a matter of oversight and as it considered whether new presidential ethics and financial disclosure laws are necessary.

The case was set in motion before House Democrats announced and then voted to say that they were engaged in an impeachment inquiry, so whether their constitutional authority to investigate potential presidential misconduct for the objective of considering whether Trump should be removed from office has not been part of the legal arguments in the case.

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A divided three-judge panel of the court held in October that the House had issued its subpoena for "legitimate legislative pursuits, not an impermissible law-enforcement objective", as the president's lawyers had argued. Both were nominated by Democratic presidents.

Rao, the dissenting judge on the panel, restated her view that the committee had exceeded its authority with a legislative subpoena "investigating whether the President broke the law".

Essentially, she said that because Congress was not relying on its impeachment power when it issued the subpoena, its legislative power alone was insufficient to justify the "unprecedented" request.

But Rao wrote Wednesday that the committee "is wrong to suggest" that questions about the validity of the subpoena "are no longer of 'practical effect.' " It is an open question, she said, "whether a defective subpoena can be revived by after-the-fact approval".

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