According to The New York Times, a federal judge rejected President Donald Trump’s "latest effort to avoid turning over his tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney, roundly dismissing Mr. Trump’s arguments that the prosecutor’s grand jury subpoena was ‘wildly overbroad’ and issued in bad faith.”
- The Times reported that District Attorney “Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat, has been seeking eight years of Mr. Trump’s personal and business returns and other financial records as part of an investigation into the president’s business practices.”
- Judge Victor Marrero of Federal District Court in Manhattan “dismissed the president’s argument that Mr. Vance had embarked on a politically motivated fishing expedition,” the report stated, adding that Marrero said “in his decision that ‘established judicial process’ did not ‘automatically transform into an incidence of incapacitating harassment and ill-will merely because the proceedings potentially may implicate the president.’”
- The Times also noted that in July, the U.S. Supreme Court “rejected Mr. Trump’s initial argument that a sitting president had immunity from criminal investigation.”
- However, “that ruling opened the door for the president to return to the lower court in Manhattan and raise other objections to the subpoena.”
- In July, Trump argued that that the subpoena was overbroad, The Times reported, and that the information it sought reached “far beyond the jurisdiction of a local district attorney.”
But in his decision on Thursday, Judge Marrero agreed with Mr. Vance’s argument that throwing out the subpoena would effectively amount to shielding the president and his associates from an investigation, potentially allowing the statute of limitations to expire on any potential crimes.
“At its core, it amounts to absolute immunity through a back door,” Judge Marrero wrote.
- Vance’s investigation is known to involve the question of “whether any New York State laws were broken when hush-money payments were made in the run-up to the 2016 president election to two women who said that they had affairs with Mr. Trump.”
- However, his office “suggested recently in a court filing that its inquiry was broader, also focusing on potential bank and insurance fraud.”