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Supreme Court grants NYC prosecutor access to Trump tax returns

Supreme Court grants NYC prosecutor access to Trump tax returns
President Donald Trump waves goodbye as he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House for the final time on January 20, 2021. File Photo by Al Drago/UPI/Pool | License Photo

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- In a one-sentence order Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a New York City grand jury to look at former President Donald Trump's tax returns as part of a criminal investigation, something he's been fighting to block for years.

The high court denied a request from Trump's attorneys to set aside an October ruling from a lower court that ordered accounting firm Mazars USA to turn over the financial records to a Manhattan grand jury.

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The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 last July that Trump did not have immunity from a state criminal subpoena. Trump's legal team argued that the then-president was entitled to a heightened standard unavailable to ordinary citizens.

"The application for a stay presented to Justice [Stephen] Breyer and referred to the court is denied," the court said in its decision Monday.

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The move allows Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to move forward with the case and allow the grand jury to see Trump's tax returns.

Vance's subpoenas cover January 2011 to August 2019 and include tax returns from Mazars USA, Trump's longtime accounting firm.

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The investigation, which began more than two years ago, is examining "hush money" payments that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen made to two women -- adult film performer Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal -- before the 2016 election. Both said they'd had sexual affairs with Trump.

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"The work continues," Vance said in a tweet after Monday's decision.

Trump's attorneys had argued that making available his tax returns threatens to strip protections afforded to former presidents.

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