Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Supreme Court refuses to block access to Trump’s tax returns

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The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to intervene to prevent a federal prosecutor from forcing former President Donald Trump to submit his tax returns.

The court decision is a major setback for Trump – who has always sought to avoid and submit his tax returns during his presidential term – and represents the culmination of a long legal battle that had already reached the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled, however, that Trump’s tax returns should not be made public, being only part of the criminal investigation of the New York federal prosecutor who requested them.

Still, access to documents makes this investigation more effective, especially at a time when Trump can no longer invoke his presence in the White House to limit the prosecutor’s action, as he did in the past, when he complained that the lawsuit was a “Witch hunt” for political purposes.

It took the Supreme Court several months to reach this decision and did not provide any justification for the delay.

This court decision is a victory for Manhattan Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who asks for the access to Trump’s tax returns since 2019, as part of an investigation involving payments to two women – pornographic actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal – to buy her silence about alleged sexual affairs, which the former President denies.

In July, Supreme Court judges, in a 7-2 decision, rejected Trump’s argument that the President is immune from investigations while in office or that a prosecutor must demonstrate an exceptional need to obtain tax documents.

Judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who were appointed to the Supreme Court during Trump’s term, agreed with that decision, which returned the case to the lower courts, preventing tax returns from being handed over to the attorney.

Since that July ruling, Trump’s lawyers have come up with new arguments, claiming that tax returns should not be filed, but defeated again in a New York court of appeal.

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Supreme Court refuses to block access to Trump's tax returns