A panel of federal appeals judges said Monday that President Donald Trump's accounting firm must deliver eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors.
This is Trump's latest setback in his efforts to keep his personal finances and those of his organization secret.
The decision of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New York, supported prosecutors so that the citation to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars LLP, will be enforced.RELATED
The ruling surely sets a stage for a confrontation in the Supreme Court, whose conservative majority 5-4 includes two judges appointed by Trump.
The Manhattan district attorney's office, Cyrus Vance, seeks tax returns as part of a criminal investigation into Trump and his family's real estate business. The scope of the investigation is not publicly known.
Vance's office agreed not to enforce the citation while Trump asks the Supreme Court to rule on the case. Under the agreement, Trump has 10 business days to file the petition.
Fight to keep the secret
Trump has refused to make his tax returns public, breaking with a decades-old tradition that US presidential candidates, who in a gesture of transparency disclosed their tax documents.
Trump had said in the campaign that he was not making his tax returns public because they were under audit. But then he has gotten into a legal battle to keep his taxes a secret.
The president also fights so that Congress cannot access his statements. Last May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to hand over the president's tax returns to House of Representatives investigators, saying the request was not based on "a legitimate legislative purpose."
The House of Representatives sued the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service in July to try to gain access to tax records. On October 11, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of Congress so that it can access Trump's financial records from the accounting firm Mazars.
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