03:38 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Trump Asks Supreme Court to Block Subpoena for Tax Returns

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    Attorneys for President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to let him keep his tax returns secret, requesting that the US high court reverse a ruling compelling his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA to turn over his tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney.

    The request marks a significant escalation of the president's fight to stop prosecutors and Congress from obtaining his financial records. If the justices agree to consider the case, it will pave the way for a landmark dispute over the reach of presidential immunity in the midst of the 2020 presidential campaign and an impeachment battle in Congress.

    The Supreme Court, however, could also decline to hear the case, thereby requiring the disclosure of Trump’s returns. In the filing, the president’s counsel Jay Sekulow emphasized the importance of hearing the matter.

    “Every time a President has asked the Court to review an unprecedented use of legal process against the occupant of the office, it has done so,” he wrote.

    Sekulow urged the court to take up the case and decide “the important and unsettled issue this dispute raises.”

    That question, he wrote, is “whether the District Attorney’s issuance of criminal process demanding the President’s records violates the immunity that he holds under Article II and the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.”

    The legal fight over Trump's tax returns started in August when Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. subpoenaed Mazars as part of a criminal investigation into allegations that the Trump Organization made hush money payments during the 2016 presidential election to two women who had affairs with Trump. 

    Trump has filed at least three lawsuits to block the release of his tax returns. The president, his family and his company also filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank to block the bank from complying with congressional subpoenas for their business records. Trump’s legal team also argued that Trump is immune from criminal investigation while in office.

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