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Another court rules Trump’s tax returns have no ‘immunity’ and should be turned over

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

[Regarding this story: Trump Can’t Invoke “Presidential Immunity” To Block A Grand Jury Subpoena For His Tax Returns, A Court Ruled]

In short, the President’s claims of “presidential immunity” to a criminal investigation doesn’t extend to documents held by third parties over which the president has no credible claim of privilege.

Unlike the lower court, the Second Circuit narrowly tailors this ruling to the barest rationale, vacating the lower court’s dismissal based on Younger abstention, too nervous to apply Younger to fairly novel facts. The Circuit Court explicitly doesn’t say the lower court’s reasoning was wrong, only that it was unnecessary to decide on those grounds.

Now that there are two Appeals court rulings on deciding unambiguously that Trump’s accountants must turn over tax returns (here, to a NY grand jury, and in DC to a House Committee), the next logical step is the Supreme Court.


Since both cases implicate the scope and limits of presidential immunity, if SCOTUS does take it up I’d think they might join the two cases and hear them together.

But on the law, neither case is compelling. If they’re taken up I think it will only be because the president is a party and it represents an opportunity for judges and justices to put their stamp on a case that will be long remembered.

In the DC Circuit Court case Trump’s attorneys have asked that that court rehear that case en banc (all the judges instead of just 3), so Trump’s attorneys may wait to get an answer there before appealing this… But I forgot that the parties had already stipulated to a schedule whereby Trump must appeal this within 10 days, so maybe there’s no time to see what the DC Circuit does.

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