The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has denied President Trump’s challenge of a lower court’s ruling that allowed New York City prosecutors to subpoena records including Trump's tax returns, with the president's attorney saying he will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Trump was attempting to block the grand jury subpoena, which was issued to accounting firm Mazars USA by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in a 34-page ruling handed down Monday morning.
“The decision of the 2nd Circuit will be taken to the Supreme Court,” Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement. “The issue raised in this case goes to the heart of our Republic. The constitutional issues are significant.”
Trump has argued that the subpoena is unenforceable because a sitting president should not be subject to a state criminal process. The 2nd Circuit disagreed.
“We hold, however, that any presidential immunity from state criminal process does not extend to investigative steps like the grand jury subpoena at issue here,” the ruling written by Chief Judge Robert Katzmann said.
The subpoena, issued Aug. 29, 2019, requested a variety of documents pertaining to Trump and his businesses, including “[t]ax returns and related schedules, in draft, as‐filed, and amended form” that Mazars possesses. Trump challenged it, arguing that he is not subject to the state criminal process while in office, and asked a federal District Court to declare the subpoena unenforceable during Trump’s presidency.
In an October ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero abstained, claiming the issue was not a matter for federal courts, but also provided an alternative holding stating that Trump’s immunity argument was unfounded and overbroad.
Marrero, who was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton, wrote that “the expansive notion of constitutional immunity invoked here to shield the president from judicial process would constitute an overreach of executive power,” and that Trump’s argument essentially claims “that a constitutional domain exists in this country in which not only the president, but, derivatively, relatives and persons and business entities associated with him in potentially unlawful private activities, are in fact above the law.”
The 2nd Circuit briefly put the subpoena on hold once Trump appealed the lower court’s decision, but now they are allowing it to be enforced.
With Sekulow vowing to bring the case to the Supreme Court, Trump’s next move could be a request for a temporary injunction blocking the subpoena at least while the high court determines whether to take up the case.
Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.