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Former President Donald Trump

The Supreme Court has ruled that the IRS can release Donald Trump's tax returns to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., who is conducting a criminal probe of the former president and his business, according to CNN. The decision, issued without comment or dissent, represents a major legal defeat for Trump, who has violated promises to release his tax returns and fought in court to conceal them from prosecutors.

The returns will still be shielded by grand jury secrecy rules that prohibit their public release. The subpoenas demand tax returns and other documents between January 2011 and August 2019 from Mazars, his accounting firm

In practical terms, the court's ruling means that Vance's probe of alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, tax evasion, and fraud will no longer be hindered by Trump's effort to keep his taxes and other documents from the prosecution.

.Last summer the high court majority rejected Trump's broad claims of immunity from a state subpoena seeking his tax returns and said that as president he was not entitled to any kind of special privilege or standard. By 7-2, the justices remanded the matter back to the lower court, allowing Trump to offer further objections to the subpoena's scope, which his lawyers described as "geographically sprawling, temporally expansive, and topically unlimited," raising "suspicions of a fishing expedition."

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