For years, the dispute has been smoldering over the tax declarations of the incumbent US president. Court of Justice has been dealt with – now Donald Trump's lawyers are the highest authority in the country. They require the Supreme Court to prevent disclosure of the documents.
Trump's legal representatives argue in a motion filed on Thursday that no criminal investigation is allowed against an incumbent US president.
A court of appeal in New York last week dismissed arguments from Trump's attorneys seeking to prevent disclosure of tax records by all means.
The appeals court followed a ruling by a New York federal judge from early October. This paved the way for the public prosecutor's office to request Trump's personal tax returns and those of his corporation over the past eight years with a so-called subpoena, ie under penalty of punishment.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said they are now applying to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision of the appeals court. "In our motion, we claim that the Subpoena violates the US Constitution and therefore has no binding force."
AP Photo / Susan Walsh
Supreme Court in Washington: Conservative majority of five to four votes
Trump's lawyers had repeatedly argued in the matter of immunity that there could be no criminal proceedings against the president during his term of office. In this light, a possible ruling by the Court would be indicative; the Washington Post speaks of a possibly "historic decision."
If the Supreme Court rejects its appeal, Trump's tax consultancy firm must hand over the requested documents. However, if the Supreme Court accepts the appeal, it may postpone its final decision until after the November 2020 presidential election. In the Supreme Court, conservative judges have a majority. Two of them were appointed by Trump himself. Here, too, a general directional choice with a view to the political independence of the highest court of the United States.
The Democrats ask: What does the man have to hide?
Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance had requested tax returns from Trump's accountants as part of an investigation into alleged false-money payments to two women. Both women claim to have had an affair with the former Baumogul and reality TV star. The President rejects the allegations.
Trump has never published his tax returns so far, which gives his critics the suspicion that he has something to hide. Normally, US presidential candidates publish their tax returns during the election campaign. Democrats in the US House of Representatives have also been trying for months to force Trump to hand over his tax returns.