Trump on Judge’s Ruling for Tax Returns, ‘Never Happened to Any President Before’
NEW YORK—President Donald Trump said a federal judge’s ruling—rejecting his request to block a subpoena for his tax returns—was unheard of and said such scrutiny had not happened to any other president in history.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero’s on Oct. 7 rejected an appeal from Trump which aimed to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from enforcing a subpoena for eight years’ worth of tax returns.
Marrero decided to abstain from resolving the dispute, and therefore dismissed Trump’s lawsuit, where he sought a broad immunity from all criminal investigations.
“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,” Trump said on Twitter. “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
Marrero said in his ruling that he could not grant such a “categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity.” Justice Department policy, however, has long been that sitting presidents cannot be charged criminally.
New York attorney Barry Barnett told The Epoch Times that the judge’s ruling signified a “very partisan fight.”
“Judge Victor Marrero is a Clinton appointee. If or when this gets to the Supreme Court, we might see a party-line vote which is a not-infrequent occurrence.”
“Judge Marrero asserts that presidential immunity from prosecution has to have some limit somewhere,” Barnett continued. “Considering the congressional ability to impeach, that may or may not hold up on appeal.”
Trump’s private counsel has appealed the district court decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Later in the day, the Second Circuit Court granted an emergency stay to Trump.
The White House and the Department of Justice declined to comment to The Epoch Times for this article.
Vance, a Democrat, sought returns and other records from Mazars USA, Trump’s accounting firm, as part of an investigation into the Trump Organization’s involvement in reportedly buying the silence of two women who claimed to have had affairs with the president.
New York-based attorney Manny Alicandro told The Epoch Times the case will likely go to the supreme court because he believes the court of appeals will affirm Marrero’s decision. Barnett had a similar observation.
“There are aspects of this case which are unsettled law and because it will continue to arise in other contexts as well with so many different authorities seeking his [Trump’s] tax returns, I believe this is headed for the Supreme Court,” Barnett said.
Grand jury proceedings and records in New York are secret. If Vance gains access to Trump’s returns through a grand jury investigation, that doesn’t mean that their contents would be disclosed publicly.
It is unclear what Trump’s returns might have to do with the investigation.
In April, the White House said Trump’s tax returns will “never” be shown to Democratic lawmakers, a sharp rebuff to a renewed push for the president’s personal finances.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) also formally requested Trump’s tax returns on April 3. Neal cited a provision in the tax code that empowers the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee to request a president’s tax returns.
The demand from the Democratic chairman to see Trump’s tax returns was the first such demand for a sitting president’s personal information in 45 years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report