Guilt Shall Not Escape or Innocence Suffer

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has handed down its opinion in Trump v. Vance in which Trump seeks to block a grand jury subpoena directed to his accountants and seeking his tax returns. I have posted a copy of the opinion.

The Court rejected the District Court’s application of the abstention doctrine set forth in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) barring the federal courts from considering Trump’s claims. However, the Court went directly to those claims and found them lacking. Thus, unless the Supreme Court both sustains the Second Circuit’s ruling on Younger abstention and also overrules the Second Circuit’s (and the District Court’s) ruling on the substantive issues, Trump’s accountants will have to deliver his tax returns to the New York state grand jury.

(BTW, the caption of this post is a direct quote from the case of Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 418 U.S. 681, 709 (1974). See the slip opinion in Trump v. Vance at 28.)

2 thoughts on “Guilt Shall Not Escape or Innocence Suffer”

    1. The answer is, of course, “yes.” In essence, NY state returns tie into the federal returns. To the extent that he was a NY domiciliary in the years in question, the NY state returns incorporate the federal returns for each of the years in question. Technically, the NY grand jury can only indict for violations of state income tax law, that is the state returns. However, it is possible that a state indictment would describe a federal criminal tax violation as well. (Note that I said “it is possible.” There are ways in which there could be a state violation, but no federal violation.)

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