President Trump’s Tax Records Will Remain Private, For Now

( President Donald Trump can keep his tax returns private — for now.

On Tuesday, an appeals court granted the president’s request to delay the district attorney in Manhattan from accessing his tax returns. This is in connection with the DA’s probe into possible criminal practices related to Trump and the Trump Organization’s business practices.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan made the ruling Tuesday. It blocks Cyrus Vance, the DA, from enforcing a grand jury subpoena that seeks to analyze eights year of Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns.

The appeals court was hearing the case after District Judge Victor Marrero ruled Vance could access the returns from Mazars USA, which is the president’s long-time accounting firm. While Vance won’t gain immediate access to the returns he’s been seeking, there’s still a chance he could get access following an upcoming hearing.

Oral arguments for that hearing are scheduled for September 25.

The Supreme Court in July refused to block Vance’s subpoena, rejecting Trump’s claims that he has absolute immunity from criminal probes while he is a sitting president in the White House. The high court did say, though, that Trump could raise other objections.

Following that decision, Trump called Vance’s subpoena “wildly overbroad” and said he issued it in bad faith.

On the flip side, Vance said continue to drag out and delay the litigation will effectively give Trump the immunity he was seeking, since it’s unlikely the records will become public before the November 3 election.

If the president’s tax records are ever handed over to a grand jury, it could take months for them to be released to the public. That’s because all grand jury proceedings are held in secret.

One of the arguments by William Consovoy, one of Trump’s lawyers, was that even giving the DA the opportunity to look at the tax records could irreparably harm the president. He argued to the appeals court:

“The status quo can never be restored. We can’t make them forget what they learn.”

One of Vance’s lawyers, Carey Dunne, downplayed Consovoy’s concern, saying:

“The toothpaste can be put back into the tube sufficiently to protect people’s rights.”

He also argued that the categories of documents that were being sought by Vance were “directly relevant” to the probe. The president and his legal team also didn’t offer any specifics that would’ve suggested otherwise.

This entire ordeal has been going on for a few years now. Vance’s probe began after news came out that Michael Cohen, one of Trump’s former lawyers, paid adult film star Stormy Daniels a hush payment of $130,000 so she wouldn’t reveal her apparent sexual encounters with the president before the 2016 election.

Trump has vehemently denied the allegations.

But Vance has continued to press forward in seeking Trump’s personal tax records and those of the Trump Organization. He claims that in addition to the Daniels hush payments, the president and his businesses could have had other illegal dealings that would be revealed in those documents.