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Supreme Court Fast-Tracks Manhattan DA’s Case for President Trump’s Tax Returns


WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump talks with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as Associate Justice Elena Kagan looks on before the State of the Union address in the House chamber on February 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is delivering his third State of the Union address on the night before the U.S. Senate is set to vote in his impeachment trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a brief one-page order on Friday, granted Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s request for the high court to immediately send the judgment in Trump v. Vance to the lower courts, putting the ruling into effect.

Chief Justice John Roberts issued the following order:

The Supreme Court case, which was decided last Thursday, held that President Donald Trump is not absolutely immune to the state criminal process. The litigation arose after Vance subpoenaed Trump’s finance firm for tax records, as part of a grand jury investigation.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero didn’t waste any time restarting the case after the Supreme Court ruling, ordering both the Manhattan DA and Trump lawyers to submit summaries of arguments.

The Manhattan DA’s Office made sweeping assertions of its own during a Thursday hearing—a hearing that provided a clearer image of the road ahead. Trump lawyers are expected to raise anti-subpoena arguments in an amended complaint by July 27; Vance will then have until August 3 to file a motion to dismiss. Final briefs in the case are due by August 14.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan DA’s Office have stressed that time is of the essence, warning that “issues could arise in the near future concerning the applicable statutes of limitations” due to the “age of many of the transactions at issue in the grand jury’s investigation.”

It was previously reported that Vance et al. interviewed Michael Cohen—a convicted felon who formerly worked as President Trump’s personal attorney—about the Trump Organization possibly falsifying business records. The Cohen interview focused on “whether the Trump Organization violated state laws regarding the hush money payments to women,” namely Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. The New York Times revealed that Vance’s office subpoenaed Trump’s finance firm, Mazars USA to obtain eight years worth of Trump’s personal state and federal tax returns, as well as returns for the Trump Organization.

Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.

[Image via Leah Millis-Pool/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.