Supreme Court temporarily halts order requiring firm to turn over Trump's tax returns to Congress

Supreme Court temporarily halts order requiring firm to turn over Trump's tax returns to Congress
By: WNG CNBC Posted On: November 18, 2019 View: 20

Supreme Court temporarily halts order requiring firm to turn over Trump's tax returns to Congress

President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing the White House in Washington, DC on November 8, 2019.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked a ruling that requires an accounting firm to turn President Donald Trump's tax returns over to Congress.

The temporary stay order signed by Chief Justice John Roberts gives the Democratic-controlled House Committee on Oversight and Reform until Thursday to respond. The document did not note any public votes or dissents.

The move was expected and does not provide new information about how the justices may ultimately vote on the matter. It generally requires five votes to grant a stay, though in some cases one justice may do so pending review by the full court. 

Earlier in the day, attorneys for House Democrats said in a letter they would not oppose a temporary delay in enforcing the subpoena to allow the court time to consider arguments on both sides. The committee said in the letter that it would provide its response on Friday. 

A spokesperson for the committee did not immediately provide comment following the chief justice's order. The justices are scheduled to meet in a private conference on Friday.

Trump has gone to great lengths to keep his tax returns secret as two efforts to procure them work their way through the legal system. The president broke with decades of precedent when he did not release the records while running for president in 2016.

Trump's attorneys submitted a petition last week to the justices in a separate case seeking to overturn the ruling of a New York federal appeals court requiring Trump's accountants to provide his returns to the Manhattan district attorney. The justices have not yet said whether they will consider that appeal.

If they decline to do so, it will effectively mandate that the accounting firm provide the tax returns. The firm, Mazars USA, has said it will provide the returns if legally required.

Trump's push to block release of his tax returns come less than a year before the Nov. 2020 election, when Trump aims to earn another term in the White House.

House Democrats are moving forward with an impeachment probe into whether Trump abused his power and tried to influence the 2020 election by urging Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. They have looked into whether he tied a Biden probe to the release of U.S. military aid or a White House meeting with Ukraine's president.

The case is Donald Trump v. Mazars USA.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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