Melania Trump filed a tax return

In the dispute over the surrender of his tax documents, US President Donald Trump goes to the Supreme Court to prevent disclosure of the documents. Trump's lawyers argue in a motion submitted to the US highest court on Thursday that no criminal investigations are allowed against an incumbent US president. An appeals court in New York last week dismissed arguments from Trump's attorneys who tried with all their might to prevent the disclosure of the tax documents.

The appeals court followed a decision by a New York federal judge in early October. This paved the way for the public prosecutor's office to request the personal tax returns of Trump and those of his group from the past eight years with a so-called subpoena - i.e. under threat of punishment. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow announced that they are now applying to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision of the appellate court. "In our motion we assert that the Subpoena violates the US Constitution and is therefore without legally binding force."

Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance had requested tax returns from Trump's accountancy firm as part of an investigation into alleged hush money payments to two women. Both women claim to have had an affair with the former construction mogul and reality TV star. The President rejects the allegations. His lawyers tried to legally block the prosecutor's request for the files.

Trump has never published his tax returns, which leads his critics to suspect that he has something to hide. US presidential candidates usually publish their tax returns during the election campaign. The Democrats in the US House of Representatives have also been trying for months to force Trump to hand over his tax returns.