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Trump tax return subpoena case argued in federal appeals court


President Donald Trump looks on during a bilateral meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019.Jonathan Ernst | ReutersA lawyer for President Donald Trump on Wednesday argued to a federal appeals court in New York City that a subpoena  for information to Trump’s accountants — including a demand for his personal and corporate tax returns — issued by a grand jury at the behest of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is “an inappropriate fishing expedition.”The lawyer, William Consovoy, under questioning by a three-judge panel at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, said, “we are objecting to the entire subpoena.”Some information sought by the subpoena to Mazars USA had been turned over before Trump and his company. But the tax returns so far have not been given to the DA’s office.Consovoy argues that Trump cannot be criminally investigated by any law enforcement organization while in office, which is a much broader claim than previous statements in internal Justice Department memos that a sitting president cannot be criminally charged by a federal prosecutor while still in office.”The district attorney … has declined  to say the president is not a target,” Consovoy noted in the Manhattan courtroom.Carey Dunne, general counsel for the DA’s office, said, “We would dispute there is an absolute blanket immunity” for the president when it comes to criminal investigation.A federal judge in U.S. District Court in Manhattan previously denied Trump’s effort to toss out the subpoena, which was issued by a grand jury in state court in Manhattan.Trump now is appealing that decision.Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. is investigating how the Trump Organization accounted for hush money payments made by Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and the publisher of The National Enquirer to two women who claim they had sexual trysts with Trump.Trump denies having sex with either woman, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.It is not clear when the Second Circuit appellate panel will rule on Trump’s bid to quash the subpoena.This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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