President Donald Trump’s battle with Manhattan prosecutors entered a new phase Friday as lawyers for the president filed an emergency motion with an appeals court to stop the release of his tax returns.
Trump’s lawyers filed the motion with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals hours after a lower court judge denied his request to halt the sharing of his tax documents.
The same U.S. district court judge, Victor Marrero, on Thursday rejected Trump’s attempt to quash a subpoena seeking eight years of his tax returns as part of an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance into the Trump Organization.
In the emergency motion, Trump’s lawyers asked the court to impose an immediate stay on the case, which would cause an immediate halt in the proceedings even before it makes a decision on whether a freeze is justified for the entirety of the appellate case.
“The idea that the District Attorney needs these records so badly that there’s no time for appellate review—after he voluntarily stayed enforcement for nearly a year—is implausible,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “Regardless, any harm he might suffer pales in comparison to the case-mooting harm the President will suffer.”
Vance’s office declined to comment.
Even if the appeals court rules against Trump, he still has one more shot at blocking the release of his financial documents by asking the Supreme Court to intervene.
The high-stakes case has been playing out since August 2019.
Vance’s office subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, as part of an investigation into payments the Trump Organization made to two women who have alleged affairs with the president, which he has denied. In a court filing this month, Vance’s office suggested the investigation goes beyond the payments to include alleged insurance and bank fraud.