Tax and Financial Records Case

Manhattan DA-Mazars Case

Major Issue:  Whether President Trump can stop a county prosecutor from using a subpoena to obtain tax and financial records relating to him from his accountant, Mazars USA.

Case Status:  Complete.

Case Description:  On Aug. 29, 2019, Manhattan District Attorney (“Manhattan DA”) Cyrus Vance issued a grand jury subpoena to President Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, requesting copies of Trump-related tax returns and other financial records over an eight-year period.  The request was made to advance an ongoing criminal investigation.  On Sept. 19, 2019, President Trump filed suit in federal district court for the Southern District of New York to quash the grand jury subpoena.  The suit named both the Manhattan DA and Mazars. 

Procedural Posture:  On Oct. 7, 2019, the district court upheld the grand jury subpoena and dismissed the case on two alternate grounds. Trump v. Vance, 395 F. Supp. 3d 283 (S.D.N.Y. 2019).  President Trump appealed.  On Nov. 4, 2019, in a 3-0 decision, the Second Circuit affirmed part of the district court’s ruling, upheld the grand jury subpoena, and remanded the case for further proceedings.  Trump v. Vance, 941 F.3d 631 (2nd Cir. 2019).  On Dec. 13, 2019, the Supreme Court granted a petition to hear the case and consolidated it with two others involving government subpoenas directed to third parties to produce tax and financial records related to President Trump.  On July 9, 2020, the Supreme Court held that presidents are not immune to local grand jury subpoenas and are not entitled to a heightened standard of review, but may raise the same legal objections as any other person subject to a local grand jury subpoena.  Trump v. Vance, 140 S. Ct. 2412 (2020).  The Supreme Court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.  

On July 27, 2020, President Trump filed an amended complaint to block the grand jury subpoena, but on August 21, 2020, the district court again dismissed his complaint and denied a motion to stay the subpoena pending appeal.  On October 7, 2020, in a 3-0 decision, the Second Circuit also dismissed the amended complaint. On February 22, 2021, the Supreme Court denied a Trump motion seeking a stay of the grand jury subpoena.  That same month, Mazars delivered the subpoenaed documents to Manhattan DA Vance, thereby concluding the case.

SDNY District Court Judge Victor Marrero was assigned to Case No. 19-cv-8694.  On Aug. 29, 2019, the Manhattan DA issued a grand jury subpoena to President Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, requesting copies of Trump-related tax returns and other financial records.  The request was made to advance an ongoing criminal investigation of payments made by Mr. Trump during his presidential campaign to two women who’d accused him of wrongdoing and for other purposes.  On Sept. 19, 2019, President Trump filed suit in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York to quash the grand jury subpoena to his accounting firm.  At the request of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the court allowed DOJ to participate as an amicus in the case in  support of the President. On Oct. 7, 2019, the district upheld the subpoena and dismissed the case on two alternate grounds.  Trump v. Vance, 395 F. Supp. 3d 283 (S.D.N.Y. 2019).  

After the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and then the Supreme Court upheld the grand jury subpoena, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.  On July 27, 2020, President Trump filed an amended complaint with the district court again to block the grand jury subpoena. On August 21, 2020, the district court dismissed the complaint and denied a motion by President Trump to stay the subpoena pending appeal.  Appeals to the Second Circuit and Supreme Court were unsuccessful.  In February 2021, Mazars delivered the subpoenaed documents to Manhattan DA Vance, concluding the case.

On Oct. 7, 2019, President Trump appealed the initial district court decision.  A Second Circuit 3-judge panel with Judges Chin, Droney and Katzmann was assigned to Case No. 19-3204.  DOJ filed an amicus brief in support of the President. The panel heard oral argument on Oct. 23, 2019.  On Nov. 4, 2019, in a 3-0 decision, the panel affirmed the district court’s ruling in part and upheld the Manhattan DA’s grand jury subpoena.  Trump v. Vance, 941 F.3d 631 (2nd Cir. 2019).  On July 9, 2020, the Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit opinion and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.  Trump v. Vance, 140 S. Ct. 2412 (2020).

On Aug. 21, 2020, the district court dismissed an amended Trump complaint to quash the grand jury subpoena.  That same day, President Trump filed an emergency motion to stay the grand jury subpoena pending appeal of the the district court decision.  A Second Circuit 3-judge panel with Judges Katzmann, Lohier, and Walker was assigned to Case No. 20-2766.  On Sept. 1, 2020, the Second Circuit panel stayed the subpoena. On October 7, 2020, in a 3-0 per curiam opinion, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court and dismissed the amended Trump complaint challenging the grand jury subpoena.  A Trump appeal to the Supreme Court was unsuccessful, and Mazars delivered the subpoenaed documents to Manhattan DA Vance, concluding the case.

On Nov. 14, 2019, the President filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking review of the Second Circuit’s initial decision in the case.  DOJ filed an amicus brief in support of the President.  The Manhattan DA opposed the petition.  Mazars waived its right to submit filings in the case.  On Dec. 13, 2019, the Supreme Court granted the petition to hear the case and stayed the grand jury subpoena pending appeal.  The Supreme Court also consolidated the case with two others involving government subpoenas directed to third parties to produce tax and financial records related to President Trump.  On July 9, 2020, in a 7-2 decision with one concurrence and two dissents, the Supreme Court held that presidents are not immune to state and local grand jury subpoenas and are not entitled to a heightened standard of review, but may raise the same legal objections as any other person subject to the subpoena.  Trump v. Vance, 140 S. Ct. 2412 (2020).  The Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.  

After rulings by the district court and Second Circuit dismissing an amended complaint by President Trump to quash the grand jury subpoena, on October 13, 2020, he appealed to the Supreme Court, requesting an emergency stay of the subpoena  and a second review of the case.  On February 22, 2021, the Supreme Court denied his request for a stay.  That same month, Mazars delivered the subpoenaed documents to Manhattan DA Vance, thereby concluding the case.

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