Judge dismisses Trump request to keep taxes secret in New York

A federal judge on Monday dismissed President Donald Trump's effort to prevent his tax returns from being turned over to a New York grand jury.

Posted: Oct 7, 2019 8:36 AM
Updated: Oct 7, 2019 11:39 AM

(CNN) -- A federal judge on Monday dismissed President Donald Trump's effort to prevent his tax returns from being turned over to a New York grand jury.

The ruling raises the likelihood that Trump's tax returns will be provided in response to the subpoena, although any material obtained through a grand jury subpoena is covered by grand jury secrecy rules, meaning it would likely become public only if it were used as evidence at a trial.

Dismissing Trump's "extraordinary" claim that any occupant of the White House enjoys "absolute immunity from criminal process of any kind," US District Court Judge Victor Marrero said in a 75-page opinion that such a position "would constitute an overreach of executive power."

An attorney for Trump filed an emergency notice of appeal to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals minutes after the district court judge filed his decision, and the appeals court immediately ordered a temporary stay of the subpoena.

In a tweet Monday, Trump criticized the legal effort.

"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!" Trump tweeted.

Prosecutors are looking at whether the Trump Organization violated any New York state laws -- including potentially filing false business records -- in its effort to reimburse Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, who paid some of the hush money on Trump's behalf. Cohen is serving a prison sentence after pleading guilty in a federal case concerning the payments.

As part of its probe, the DA's office sent Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, a grand jury subpoena seeking tax returns and related documents going back to 2011. On Monday, a spokeswoman for the company said, "Mazars USA will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations."

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office, led by Cyrus Vance, Jr., is examining hush money paid during the 2016 presidential campaign to two women who alleged having affairs with Trump a decade ago. Trump has denied the affairs.

Ability to challenge the President

In his opinion, Marrero allowed that some aspects of the criminal process could impede a President's ability to perform his duties. "Certainly lengthy imprisonment upon conviction would produce that result," he wrote.

But, Marrero added, "that consequence would not necessarily follow every stage of every criminal proceeding," and in particular, he said, doesn't extend to a president's compliance with a grand jury subpoena for records the president controls.

The judge wrote that the issues at hand stretched back to questions addressed by the Founding Fathers.

"Shunning the concept of the inviolability of the person of the King of England and the bounds of the monarch's protective screen covering the Crown's actions from legal scrutiny, the Founders disclaimed any notion that the Constitution generally conferred similarly all-encompassing immunity upon the President," Marrero wrote.

Courts have ruled that a president can be subjected to a civil suit concerning conduct that took place before he took office and must comply with subpoenas regarding third parties, Marrero pointed out. "The notion of federal supremacy and presidential immunity from judicial process that the President here invokes, unqualified and boundless in its reach as described above, cuts across the grain of these constitutional precedents," he wrote.

The ruling is also a setback for the US Justice Department, which had asked last week to temporarily block the subpoena, to allow time for "appropriate briefing of the weighty constitutional issues involved."

"The President's complaint raises a number of significant constitutional issues that potentially implicate important interests of the United States," DOJ officials wrote in a court filing.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
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Monroe4157135
Union415777
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Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
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Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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