Nov. 15 (UPI) — President Donald Trump appealed to the Supreme Court on Thursday to block a Manhattan grand jury subpoena seeking eight years of his New York state tax returns.
It’s the first time the president has appealed to the high court in cases related to his financial documents. It comes less than a week after a federal appellate court ruled Trump’s tax returns aren’t immune to subpoena.
“In our petition, we assert that the subpoena violates the U.S. Constitution and therefore is unenforceable,” Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will grant review in this significant constitutional case and reverse the dangerous and damaging decision of the appeals court.”
The Supreme Court petition said the subpoena is “politically motivated.”
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance wants eight years of Trump’s records for his investigation into hush money payments he says Trump paid to two women to keep news of their extramarital affairs secret. One includes adult film star Stormy Daniels and the other Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal.
The appellate court said one of the reasons Vance’s subpoena is lawful is that it’s directed at Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA. The court noted that Vance’s subpoena seeks Trump’s private tax returns and financial information — items related to his private business, not his official capacity as president.
Trump is embroiled in another lawsuit involving his tax returns, one in which he sought to block a subpoena by the House Committee on Oversight. On Wednesday, a full federal appeals court sided with an earlier court’s ruling that Mazars USA must hand over eight years of financial records to House investigators.
The House sought the records after Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, testified the president manipulated the value of his assets for personal gain.