The Manhattan district attorney’s office asked the Supreme Court to reject President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE‘s effort to shield his tax returns from a grand jury subpoena, in a case where the president’s lawyers have argued that he is immune to any criminal investigation or prosecution.
A federal appeals court had ruled that Trump’s accounting firm must hand over eight years of tax returns and other financial records and the president last week appealed that decision.
The district attorney’s office argued in a brief filed Thursday that the appellate ruling was narrowly focused to the facts of the case and does not merit a review from the nation’s highest court.
“The only question here is whether a third-party custodian of the President’s financial records may be subpoenaed for those records when they are relevant to a secret grand jury investigation and completely unrelated to any official action (and in fact were largely created before the President took office),” the prosecutors wrote.
Trump’s lawyer had claimed during oral arguments before a panel of judges of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that the president could not be subject to criminal investigation, and that the immunity was so broad that law enforcement would not be allowed to investigate even if Trump were to shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.
The judges steered away from that claim in their ruling, deciding only that “presidential immunity does not bar the enforcement of a state grand jury subpoena directing a third party to produce non-privileged material, even when the subject matter under investigation pertains to the President.”
It’s still unclear whether the justices will decide to take up the case, which one appellate judge had said seemed “destined” for the Supreme Court.
The case is part of a wide-ranging legal battle that Trump is waging with opponents over questions of executive power and his immunity from oversight. The president has also asked the Supreme Court to intervene to block a subpoena of his financial records being pursued by the House Oversight Committee.
Updated at 6:09 p.m.