Federal appeals court rules against Trump in battle over tax returns

A federal appeals court in Washington has sided against President Trump, saying his financial records must be turned over to the House of Representatives as the president’s legal team prepares to appeal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said Friday that Democratic lawmakers should get the documents they have subpoenaed from Mazars USA. The firm has provided accounting services to Trump.


Trump’s legal team told Fox News they are “reviewing options.” Options include a request for the appeal to be heard “en banc” or, possibly, taking it to the Supreme Court.

“While we are reviewing the court’s lengthy decision, as well as Judge Rao’s dissent, we continue to believe that this subpoena is not a legitimate exercise of Congress’s legislative authority," said Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president.

The Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform subpoenaed records from Mazars in April. They include documents from 2011 to 2018 that the House wants for an investigation into the president's reporting of his finances and potential conflicts of interest.

“Today’s ruling is a fundamental and resounding victory for congressional oversight, our Constitutional system of checks and balances, and the rule of law," said Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the committee. "For far too long, the President has placed his personal interests over the interests of the American people."

Earlier this year, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, sent a letter to Cummings “strenuously” objecting to the committee's subpoena.

“I urge you to seriously reconsider your intention to issue this subpoena,” Jordan told Cummings at the time. “Your obsession with attacking the president and his family for political gain does nothing to improve the efficiency, economy and operations of the federal government.”

Trump appointee Neomi Rao dissented from the three-judge panel's ruling. The other judges are Patricia Millett, appointed by President Barack Obama, and David Tatel, appointed by President Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Trump was granted at least a brief reprieve Monday after a federal judge issued a scathing order allowing the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to subpoena his tax returns from Mazars USA.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals put the subpoena on hold after Trump's attorneys filed an emergency appeal.


The administrative stay will only be in place while the court reviews the case, and it's unclear how that will resolve. U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero earlier Monday was unsparing toward the president's legal team as he dismissed Trump’s lawsuit seeking to block the subpoena.

Fox News’ John Roberts and Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.