Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Subpoena for Trump’s Tax Records

US President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 1, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked the enforcement of a House subpoena for President Donald Trump’s tax records.

The development comes after President Trump filed an emergency request on November 15, asking the Supreme Court to block a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee for financial documents from the president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA. In October, a federal appeals court ruled the firm must hand over the records to lawmakers.

The delay announced late Monday allows the justices to decide how to handle the House subpoena and a similar demand from the Manhattan district attorney at the same time.

The House’s quest for the records is not part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, but the court’s action probably means Democrats will not have the records before an expected vote on impeachment by year’s end.

The justices are giving Trump until December 5 to file a full appeal of a lower court ruling calling for his accountants to turn over the records. The president’s lawyers are certain to comply, and the court’s decision about whether to take up the case is expected by mid-January.

In July, the House panel filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS in an effort to obtain the records.

“In refusing to comply with the statute, Defendants have mounted an extraordinary attack on the authority of Congress to obtain information needed to conduct oversight of Treasury, the IRS, and the tax laws on behalf of the American people who participate in the nation’s voluntary tax system,” the lawsuit read.

“Without reviewing the requested return materials, the committee cannot ensure that the IRS’s audit process is functioning fairly and effectively, understand how provisions of the tax code are implicated by President Trump’s returns, or exercise its legislative judgment to determine whether changes to the code may be warranted,” it added.

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