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House, N.Y. prosecutor urge Supreme Court to allow access to Trump's records

By
Darryl Coote

Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A House committee and a New York prosecutor have separately urged the Supreme Court to allow them access to years of President Donald Trump's financial records.

The House of Representatives Oversight Committee and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance both petitioned the Supreme Court Thursday to prevent Trump from shielding his accounting firm, Mazars USA, from releasing years of his private and business financial records.

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The Democrat's filing comes days after Chief Justice John Roberts signed a temporary stay against their subpoena demanding the accounting firm hand over Trump's records as part of their investigation into whether he had undisclosed conflicts of interests.

On Thursday, the committee argued that it has been over 220 days since they subpoenaed the records and Trump's lawyers have failed to show that the case "warrants review by this court or that there is a fair prospect of reversal of the judgment."

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They said Trump's lawyers have failed to "demonstrate that any harm they will suffer if Mazars responds to the subpoena outweighs the severe harm that Congress would suffer by being deprived of information it urgently needs to exercise its constitutional functions."

The documents are needed to "shed lift on the accuracy of President Trump's disclosures, and thereby to inform the committee's oversight of the Executive Branch and its consideration of remedial legislation."

If the court does not agree with their argument, the Democrats asked for the case to be expedited.

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Concerning a separate case, Vance said the court has not been given reason to interfere in his New York criminal investigation into hush money Trump allegedly paid to an adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal to keep their extramarital affairs secret.

"The Mazars Subpoena was issued by a grand jury in an ongoing criminal investigation, and its enforcement is essential for the grand jury to complete its work," Vance wrote in the 36-page letter. "... Each day that compliance with the Mazars subpoena is delayed increases the likelihood that -- as a result of this lawsuit -- criminal conduct may go unpunished, giving [Trump] a de facto victory."

A delay, he continued, may also cause evidence to be lost, memories to fade or "witnesses to disappear -- an outcome that would not only undermine the office's duty to enforce New York's criminal laws, but could also work to the detriment of those who may be charged in any indictment returned by the grand jury."

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On Thursday, Trump said via Twitter that he would release his financial records before the 2020 presidential election, though the decision to do so was his.

The letters follow a full federal appeals court siding with an earlier court's ruling that Trump must comply with the House committee's subpoena. Trump then asked the Supreme Court to intervene and his legal team petitioned for a stay.

Trump also appealed to the Supreme Court last week concerning Vance's request.

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