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Sat Sep 26, 2020, 07:38 AM

Judge asks district attorney why he didn't take Trump's tax returns weeks ago [View all]

National Security

Judge asks district attorney why he didn’t take Trump’s tax returns weeks ago

By Shayna Jacobs
September 25, 2020 at 3:43 p.m. EDT

NEW YORK — A federal appeals judge on Friday questioned why Manhattan's district attorney declined to execute a grand jury subpoena for President Trump's long-sought tax returns when it appeared after a recent court order that prosecutors had an opportunity to do so.

Judge Pierre N. Leval said he believed that the order issued Sept. 1 by a separate three-member panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit was meant to pause a lower court’s dismissal of Trump’s renewed bid to kill the subpoena — but that it did not prevent the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (D), from collecting the president’s financial records from his accounting firm in the meantime.

“The stay was a stay on dismissal of complaint,” Leval said during questioning of a lawyer for the district attorney. “It was not a stay on execution of subpoena.” ... A stay is a judicial order that temporarily prevents an event that is the subject of litigation from taking place. ... The judge added that the “existence of the complaint doesn’t stop the district attorney from enforcing the subpoena.” ... Carey Dunne, general counsel in the district attorney’s office, said the appeals court’s Sept. 1 order was not interpreted that way.

[Court temporarily blocks enforcement of subpoena for Trump’s tax records]

Both sides were ordered to submit by Tuesday written arguments explaining how each interpreted the order, which did not offer specific guidance on whether the subpoena was subject to the stay. Rather, it only generally granted the intervention Trump and his attorneys sought.


Shayna Jacobs
Shayna Jacobs is a federal courts and law enforcement reporter on the national security team at The Washington Post, where she covers the Southern and Eastern districts of New York. Follow https://twitter.com/shaynajacobs

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