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blocks Court

Court blocks release of Trump tax returns amid latest appeal – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Trump’s lawyers had asked for a temporary stay while they appeal a lower court ruling that granted Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office access to Trump’s tax returns. A lawyer for Vance’s office had argued that further delays would only impede their investigation.

“The question at this juncture is quite simple but also quite important,” Trump lawyer William Consovoy said. “Will the president be given an opportunity to appeal that ruling before his personal records are disclosed to the grand jury and the status quo is irrevocably changed?”

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said they were pleased with the ruling. A message seeking comment was left with Vance’s spokesperson.

A hearing on the merits of Trump’s latest appeal will be held Sept. 25 after both sides agreed to an expedited schedule.

Trump’s lawyers appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month after a district court judge rejected their renewed efforts to invalidate a subpoena issued to his accounting firm. Judge John M. Walker Jr. said at Tuesday’s hearing that the subpoenas cover 11 entities engaged in business dealings as far away as Europe and Dubai.

Trump has blasted the long-running quest for his financial records as a “continuation of the most disgusting witch hunt in the history of our country” and predicted the case would again end up before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled last month the presidency in itself doesn’t shield Trump from Vance’s investigation, but the high court returned the case to U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero’s courtroom to allow Trump’s lawyers to raise other concerns about the subpoena.

Trump’s lawyers then argued the subpoena was issued in bad faith and overly broad, might have been politically motivated and amounted to harassment. Marrero rejected those claims. Consovoy told the judges Tuesday the investigation was an “arbitrary fishing expedition.”

Carey Dunne of the district attorney’s office said Trump and his lawyers have long misrepresented the scope of the investigation as focusing primarily on hush money payments that were paid to protect Trump from adultery allegations. Vance’s lawyers have said they are legally entitled to extensive records to aid a “complex financial investigation.”

“The president has complained at every turn that we’ve not announced what the grand jury is looking at as if that itself is bad faith,” Dunne said. “But, of course, what the grand jury is looking at is secret. We’re not allowed to make that public, which is what has led to his speculation about the grand jury scope. But none of this speculation is plausible.”

Even if Vance gets Trump’s tax records, those would be part of a confidential grand jury investigation and not automatically be made public.

Vance, a Democrat, began seeking the Republican president’s tax returns from his longtime accounting firm more than a year ago, after Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress the president had misled tax officials, insurers and business associates about the value of his assets.

Congress is also pursuing Trump’s financial records, though the Supreme Court last month kept a hold on the banking and other documents that Congress has been seeking and returned the case to a lower court.

Trump is the only modern president who has refused to release his tax returns. Before he was elected, he had promised to do so.

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blocks SCOTUS

SCOTUS blocks disclosure of unredacted Mueller report – Reuters

The Supreme Court temporarily blocks the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury material to the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

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Antibody blocks

Antibody blocks infection by the SARS-CoV-2 in cells, scientists discover – Science Daily

Researchers at Utrecht University, Erasmus Medical Center and Harbour BioMed (HBM) today reported that they have identified a fully human monoclonal antibody that prevents the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus from infecting cultured cells. The discovery, published online today in Nature Communications, is an initial step towards developing a fully human antibody to treat or prevent the respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly across the globe infecting more than 3.3M people worldwide and killing more than 235,000 people so far.

“This research builds on the work our groups have done in the past on antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV that emerged in 2002/2003,” said Berend-Jan Bosch, Associate Professor, Research leader at Utrecht University, and co-lead author of the Nature Communications study. “Using this collection of SARS-CoV antibodies, we identified an antibody that also neutralizes infection of SARS-CoV-2 in cultured cells. Such a neutralizing antibody has potential to alter the course of infection in the infected host, support virus clearance or protect an uninfected individual that is exposed to the virus.”

Dr. Bosch noted that the antibody binds to a domain that is conserved in both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, explaining its ability to neutralize both viruses. “This cross-neutralizing feature of the antibody is very interesting and suggests it may have potential in mitigation of diseases caused by future-emerging related coronaviruses.”

“This discovery provides a strong foundation for additional research to characterize this antibody and begin development as a potential COVID-19 treatment,” said Frank Grosveld, PhD. co-lead author on the study, Academy Professor of Cell Biology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam and Founding Chief Scientific Officer at Harbour BioMed. “The antibody used in this work is ‘fully human,’ allowing development to proceed more rapidly and reducing the potential for immune-related side effects.” Conventional therapeutic antibodies are first developed in other species and then must undergo additional work to ‘humanize’ them. The antibody was generated using Harbour BioMed’s H2L2 transgenic mouse technology.

“This is groundbreaking research,” said Dr. Jingsong Wang, Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of HBM. “Much more work is needed to assess whether this antibody can protect or reduce the severity of disease in humans. We expect to advance development of the antibody with partners. We believe our technology can contribute to addressing this most urgent public health need and we are pursuing several other research avenues.”

The paper is titled, “A human monoclonal antibody blocking SARS-VoV-2 Infection. In addition to Drs. Bosch and Grosveld, authors on the paper included: Chunyan Wang, Wentao Li and Frank van Kuppeveld of Utrecht University; Nisreen Okba and Bart Haagmans of Erasmus Medical Center (Rotterdam); Dubravka Drabek and Rien van Haperen of Erasmus Medical Center and Harbour Antibodies; and Albert Osterhaus of the University of Veterinary Medicine (Hannover, Germany).

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Materials provided by Utrecht University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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