In an opinion this morning, the Second Circuit largely affirmed the decision by Judge Marrero (covered here) to allow the Manhattan DA to enforce a grand jury subpoena to President Trump’s accountants seeking (among other things) President Trump’s tax returns.
The Second Circuit acknowledged that the President, occupying “a unique position in the constitutional scheme,” could be shielded from certain types of judicial process, but concluded that a subpoena to his accountants did not merit that protection:
[W]e are not faced, in this case, with the President’s arrest or imprisonment, or with an order compelling him to attend court at a particular time or place, or, indeed, with an order that compels the President himself to do anything. The subpoena at issue is directed not to the President, but to his accountants; compliance does not require the President to do anything at all.
In so holding the Second Circuit emphasized “the narrowness of the issue” before the court:
This appeal does not require us to consider whether the President is immune from indictment and prosecution while in office, nor to consider whether the President may lawfully be ordered to produce documents for use in a state criminal proceeding. We accordingly do not address those issues. The only question before us is whether a state may lawfully demand production by a third party of the President’s personal financial records for use in a grand jury investigation while the President is in office. With the benefit of the district court’s well-articulated opinion, we hold that any presidential immunity from state criminal process does not bar the enforcement of such a subpoena.