Appeals Court Rules Trump Must Hand Over Tax Returns, Setting Up Another Supreme Court Showdown


By Mukwuzi Joseph

Manhattan’s 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump must hand over his tax returns to New York prosecutors.

The 2nd circuit Court wrote that “none of the President’s allegations, taken together or separately, are sufficient to raise a plausible inference that the subpoena was issued out of malice or an intent to harass.” 

The ruling upholds a previous decision from a lower court, but Trump’s legal team may yet again appeal to a higher court.

The Supreme Court handled two cases in July pertaining specifically to the president’s financial documents. The first— which set the stage for Wednesday’s ruling in Manhattan — rejected the administration’s argument that the president cannot be investigated while in office. The second , struck down a bid from Congressional Democrats to expedite the process of procuring Trump’s tax returns.

A September report from The New York Times showed that Trump had not paid any federal income tax in 10 of the last 15 years. In particular, he only paid $750 in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017. The Times’ investigation also suggests the Trump Organization frequently wrote off the president’s personal expenses — including nearly $1 million in fees billed to Ivanka Trump — as business expenses to lighten the company’s tax burden. The Times executive editor Dean Baquet . wrote in an open letter that the newspaper would publish additional findings ahead of the election in November.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris both released their 2019 tax released their 2019 tax returns just prior to the first 2020 presidential debate. Biden and Dr. Jill Biden jointly paid $299,346 in state and federal income tax on $944,737 last year, and Harris and Doug Emhoff, her husband, paid $1,185,628 in total taxes off $3,018,127 in total income.

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