TRUMP DRAMA: Loses Court Fight To Keep Tax Records Secret; Ordered To Turn Over 8 Years Of Returns, Files Emergency Appeal

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A federal judge rejected President Donald Trump’s challenge to the release of eight years of his tax returns for a New York state criminal probe, saying on Monday that he could not grant such a “categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity.”

Trump’s lawyers notified the judge that they will immediately appeal the ruling.

Judge Victor Marrero called Trump’s claim of a broad immunity “extraordinary.”

“As the court reads it, presidential immunity would stretch to cover every phase of criminal proceedings, including investigations, grand jury proceedings and subpoenas, indictment, prosecution, arrest, trial, conviction, and incarceration,” Marrero wrote. “That constitutional protection presumably would encompass any conduct, at any time, in any forum, whether federal or state, and whether the President acted alone or in concert with other individuals.”

The judge said he “cannot endorse such a categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity from judicial process as being countenanced by the nation’s constitutional plan, especially in the light of the fundamental concerns over excessive arrogation of power that animated the Constitution’s delicate structure and its calibrated balance of authority among the three branches of the national government, as well as between the federal and state authorities.”

Lawyers did not immediately respond to email requests for comment in response to the ruling.

The returns had been sought by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. His office is investigating the Trump Organization’s involvement in buying the silence of two women who claimed to have had inappropriate relationships with the president.

Trump’s lawyers have said the investigation is politically motivated and that the quest for his tax records from January 2011 to the present should be stopped because he is immune from any criminal probe as long as he is president.

Last week, Justice Department lawyers in Washington urged Marrero to delay deciding the issue.

Vance began his probe after federal prosecutors in Manhattan completed their investigation into payments that Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to be paid to the two women to keep them silent during the presidential race. The Trump Organization later reimbursed Cohen.

Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence.

(AP)




6 COMMENTS

  1. “His office is investigating the Trump Organization’s involvement in buying the silence of two women who claimed to have had inappropriate relationships with the president”

    Were they equally concerned about Clinton’s escapades? Oh, right, he had Democratic immunity.

  2. I predict that Trump of course won’t go down without a fight. But these tax returns have large grey areas. The democrats will find plenty of “ilegality” in them. Many republicans won’t be able to support the president. Pence will be president in about 2 months

  3. He will probably get a short term stay on the order but in the longer term, even the most conservative justices will not agree that a sitting President is like a king and is immune even from investigation and extend that to include state and local prosecutors.

  4. There is a plethora of public anti-Trump statements made by these anti-Trump politicians that makes it blatantly obvious that this is politically motivated, and that reason it matters is because such a politically motivated investigation is a violation of the Constitution.

    Trump (“The Trump Organization”) had already paid women for their silence long before Trump ran for office, yet there was no move then to investigate Trump then. Why does paying women while running for office make a difference? The only rational answer is that it is politically motivated.