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Trump asks justices for temporary block of House subpoena

President Donald Trump speaks during an event on healthcare prices in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump wants the Supreme Court to keep House Democrats from getting his financial records at least until the justices resolve a broader fight over efforts to subpoena a sitting president’s records.

Trump filed an emergency appeal with the court Friday in a case from Washington, D.C., over a subpoena from a House committee for financial records held by Trump’s accountants. The request comes a day after he urged the high court to rule that a president cannot be prosecuted or even investigated for crimes while in office.

The Thursday filing involves a subpoena issued by the Manhattan district attorney demanding Trump’s tax returns from the same accounting firm.

A temporary order blocking the enforcement of the House subpoena could allow the court to consider the two cases together. The New York dispute is on a fast timetable under which the high court is being asked to render a decision by late June.

Without an order from the justices, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform would be able to ask for the records from the Mazars USA firm as early as Wednesday. Mazars has indicated it will comply with the subpoena unless ordered not to.

Trump directed his request to Chief Justice John Roberts because he handles emergency matters arising from courts in the nation’s capital. Roberts could ask the full court to weigh in, but he has the authority to issue an order on his own.

The two subpoenas are similar. Indeed, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has said he copied the House subpoena, although he substituted tax returns for the financial records the House is demanding. The House subpoena does not specifically mention Trump’s tax returns.