Justice Department Asks Appeals Court to Block Release of Trump Tax Returns
The Justice Department filed a brief on Friday asking a federal appeals court to block the release of President Trump's tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney's office, claiming that local prosecutors needed to meet a high legal threshold before investigating Trump. According to The New York Times, the department appeared to side with the arguments made in Trump’s lawsuit seeking to block the release of the tax returns, writing that the lawsuit had raised “a number of significant constitutional issues that potentially implicate the interests of the United States.” The department also argued against local prosecutors investigating a sitting president, and said avoiding state criminal procedures while Trump was in office would not place him “above the law.” Rather, it “merely postpones initiation of any potential criminal prosecution until his term of office ends.”
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled that Trump's tax returns could be released to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr., who subpoenaed accounting firm Mazars USA for Trump's personal and corporate financial documents dating back to 2011. Judge Marrero rejected Trump's legal argument, which posited that the Constitution prevented current presidents from being criminally investigated by local prosecutors like Vance.