President Donald Trump doesn’t have to hand over eight years of personal and business tax returns to New York prosecutors — pending a judicial review.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sided with Trump on Monday against a Manhattan district attorney who has subpoenaed the documents, NBC News reported. A panel of appellate judges will now assess the legality of the demand.
The ruling came the same day that U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero rejected a lawsuit from Trump’s lawyers against District Attorney Cyrus Vance that argued the president was immune from criminal investigation because “‘[v]irtually all legal commenters agree’ that a sitting President of the United States is not ‘subject to the criminal process’ while he is in office.” (RELATED: DC Circuit Judge Turns Down FOIA Request For Trump Tax Records)
Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said, “We are very pleased” with the decision, according to NBC.
Vance subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm last September while he was investigating former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s payments to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election. The district attorney believed the action might have violated New York law.
Marrero called the assumption that presidents need not comply to judicial orders “unqualified and boundless.”
“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 rejected that contention, “especially in the light of the fundamental concerns over excessive arrogation of power” that resulted in an American political system based on a separation of judicial, legislative and executive powers. (RELATED: Someone Leaked 10 Years Of Trump’s Tax Info To The New York Times)
Marrero’s essential ruling was that a president cannot assume to be above the law.
On Twitter, Trump registered his belief that the tax records subpoena is just another ploy by Democrats to bring down his presidency.
“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,” he said. “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
House Democrats have sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One, two major financial corporations that have provided loans to Trump, for Trump’s tax records. The president and his family have initiated legal action to stop the release of any documents.