On Monday morning federal Judge Victor Marrero rejected Donald Trump’s challenge of the release of his tax returns. Trump’s lawyers alleged being president makes him immune to any investigation.
Marrero wrote a 75-page ruling in which he stated that he could not endorse a “categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity from judicial process.”
Cyrus R Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, is seeking the tax returns as part of his office’s investigation of the Trump Organization’s involvement in paying two women to keep quiet about claims that they had affairs with Trump.
Marrero’s ruling now allows the District Attorney’s office to subpoena eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns. Trump’s attorneys have already made it clear that they will appeal the decision.
Trump’s lawyers have stated that the investigation is politically motivated and that the Democrat’s quest for Trump’s tax records should be stopped because Trump is immune from any criminal probe as long as he is president.
“The Radical Left Democrats have failed on all fronts,” Trump fumed on Twitter, “so now they are pushing local New York City and State Democrat prosecutors to go get President Trump. A thing like this has never happened to any President before. Not even close!”
The Radical Left Democrats have failed on all fronts, so now they are pushing local New York City and State Democrat prosecutors to go get President Trump. A thing like this has never happened to any President before. Not even close!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
The criminal investigation is unfolding while Trump is under siege on Capitol Hill from a fast-moving impeachment driven by his July 25 phone call to Ukraine where he pressured President Zelensky into investigating his political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Marrero called Trump’s claim of broad immunity “extraordinary” and “an overreach of executive power.”
“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,” the judge 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 couldn’t accept that legal view, “especially in the light of the fundamental concerns over excessive arrogation of power that led the founding fathers to create a balance of power among the three branches of government.”
You can read Judge Marrero’s ruling here,