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Trump tax returns case to be heard Friday by appeals court

The battle between Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and President Trump's legal team enters another round Friday.

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President Trump
President Trump
(Alex Wong/Getty)
Updated: September 25, 2020 - 9:17am

A federal appeals court will hear arguments on Friday from attorneys in the ongoing battle between President Trump and a New York prosecutor surrounding the access to the president's tax returns. 

Trump's attorneys have been fighting to invalidate a subpoena issued by Cyrus Vance Jr., an attorney with the office of the Manhattan District Attorney. Last month, a district court judge thwarted the president's lawyers in that effort, a ruling that they appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

For now, a temporary restraining order remains in place, blocking Trump's tax records from being turned over until the appeal is settled. 

Trump has said that he expects the case will return to the Supreme Court, making it extremely unlikely that the issue will be determined in time for the November 3 presidential election. 

The president has also frequently referred to the ongoing probe as "a fishing expedition" and "a continuation of the witch hunt –the greatest witch hunt in history." 

The Supreme Court ruled in July that the position of the presidency does not protect Trump from the Manhattan district attorney's request for his tax returns.

However, Trump returned the case to a Manhattan district judge, allowing attorneys to find new grounds on which to block the subpoena. 

The president's legal team has argued that the subpoena by Vance, a Democrat, was issued for politically motivated reasons. The Manhattan district judge rejected that argument, leading to Friday's appeal hearing. 

Trump has long sought to keep his personal tax records out of the public spotlight. Even if Vance is granted access to the records, they would become part of a confidential grand jury investigation and not automatically accessible to the public. 

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