Judge Rejects Trump Challenge To Release Of His Tax Returns

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FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during the Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House in Washington. On Monday, Oct. 7 Judge Victor Marrero rejected Trump’s challenge to the release of his tax returns for a New York state criminal probe. The returns had been sought by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. His office is investigating the Trump Organization’s involvement in buying the silence of two women who claimed to have had affairs with the president. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge Monday emphatically rejected President Donald Trump’s challenge to the release of his tax returns to New York prosecutors, saying the president’s broad claim of immunity from all criminal investigations is at odds with the Constitution. But an appeals court blocked the handover of the documents for now.

At issue is a request from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. that Trump’s accounting firm turn over eight years’ worth of his business and personal tax returns for an investigation into the payment of hush money to two women who claimed to have had affairs with the president.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero turned down Trump’s challenge, saying he could not grant the president a “categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity.”

Trump’s lawyers immediately appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and it granted a temporary stay of the judge’s ruling “pending expedited review” by the court.

“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!”

Trump’s lawyers have said that the investigation led by Vance, a Democrat, is politically motivated and that the request for his tax records should be stopped because he is immune from any criminal probe as long as he is president.

Marrero called Trump’s claim of a 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 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.

Trump’s lawyers and the district attorney’s office did not immediately comment in response to the ruling. Justice Department attorneys in Washington, who had urged Marrero to delay deciding the issue, declined to comment.

Vance began his probe after federal prosecutors in New York completed their investigation into payments that Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to be paid to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep them silent during the presidential race. The Trump Organization later reimbursed Cohen.

Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence for crimes that included campaign finance violations in connection with the hush money.

Trump was never charged, though prosecutors said publicly that he was aware of and directed the illegal payments. Justice Department policy has long been that sitting presidents cannot be charged criminally.

Trump has steadfastly refused to make his tax returns public, breaking from a tradition set by presidents and presidential candidates decades ago.

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 will be disclosed publicly.

It is unclear what Trump’s returns might have to do with the criminal investigation.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Why is Trump so insistent on hiding his tax returns? During his campaign he promised to release them after the election. What is he hiding? There must be something in them which is at odds with his claims of no business with Russia.
    If Cy Vance wants my tax returns he just has to call the executor of my estate.

    • What is he hiding?

      Silly Argument.
      1) As R Miller ZT”L said about Nixon and his taxes, the tax code is complex and they themselves don’t know all the laws. They can get anyone and everyone if they want. You guys would pounce on trump and twsit the law to find a gotcha moment.
      2) Real estate is extremely complex and yes the name of the game is to make you look poor. I wonder how you dummies would look ta that if trump said he was poor.
      3) yes he did buisness in russia but thats not illegal. No embrago on them.

      So none of your buisness sorry.

      • You are Exhibit A for:

        1. Those who decry the low level of secular education in much of the frum community;

        2. The insistence of four United States military academies (West Point, Annapolis, USAF and USCG) that cadets receive a comprehensive liberal arts education; and

        3. Unbridled and completely unjustified intellectual arrogance.

        Yoni

        • Rabbi Avigdor Miller was highlight educated. listen too his clip about Nixon.

          Secular education, only has one value, to help us earn a living. otherwise its uselss for a frum torah jew.

          Not sure what your tirade has to do with the subject though. Stick to regeans ghost screen name yoni.

          • PLEASE ENLIGHTEN US AS TO HOW “HIGHLIGHT EDUCATION” HELPS ON THIS SUBJECT! ALSO, I HIGHLY DOUBT THAT ANY RABBI EVER GOT A JOB DOING HIGHLIGHTS AT A HAIR SALON!

          • Yoni, Yoni, Yoni…I see Yoni Everywhere on VIN…anyone who annoys me is Yoni; anyone who thinks Trump is a national embarrassment is Yoni; anyone who claims there are parallels between Trump’s Holy supporters and populist supporters of dictators is Yoni; anyone who is more educated than am I is Yoni; anyone who believes first Amendment protections should apply to people with whom we disagree is Yoni; anyone who says liberals’ 1960s civil rights agenda is what protects our right to Shabbos observance is Yoni; anyone who thinks “liberal” means anything more than permissive antisemite is Yoni; anyone who is left of intolerant right wing is Yoni; anyone who thinks all Muslims should not be struck with Cancer is Yoni; any Yid who served this country is Yoni; anyone who befriends Gentiles is Yoni…I hate self-hating Jew, pro-Muslim Yoni…and he’s attacking me all over VIN using fake names, claiming fake credentials…oh what do I do about Yoni?

            Yoni

        • Your use of spam is quite mature. i must say. I know it annoys you that I point out your lies. Your comment kind of depicts your matuirty. Very not becoming of a mature educated older college educated graduate. Your comment reinforces my belief.

          I pointed out already that 85% of frum jews support trump so why the anomally on VIN? You yourself often exclaim that moderates on VIN are rare.

          Your comments often come in droves.

          Your screen name phineas mysteriously popped up the day your wrote you’d no longer comment on VIN bec you couldn’t admit defeat after a Trump victory.

          I can have a debate on a two day old news artcile and look whose name all of a sudden pops up? Who comments on two day old artciles for the first time? Only if you are already in the heat of the debate…

          I prove my point

          “Re anyone who says liberals’ 1960s civil rights agenda is what protects our right to Shabbos observance is Yoni”

          Thats your problem . You are stuck in the 60’s. Sure during those times the liberlas added value. Times chnaged. Today its diff battles.
          1) Say your child had a rebbe or teacher that was gay can the yeshiva fire him? Would you wnat him to remain a rebbe?
          2) Should Rabbonim be forced to officate at Gay weddings
          3) Should we need to bake at gay weedings
          4) Should liberla be allowed to pull the plug on pateints that are brain dead or in a coma
          5) Should we ban bris mila outisde hospitals? how about metziaia bpeh
          6) should we ban kaparras? how about shechita?
          7) private school funding should we ban states from funding our mosdos?

          There are more but thats a start. Todays batteles are not yesterdays battles

          PS I have gentile friends too. Bu my true friends are nly withon klal yisroel

      • Archy you revealed Trump’s lies and guilt with “3) yes he did buisness in russia but thats not illegal. No embrago on them.”
        Trump said he had no business with Russia and never dealt with Russia.

        • We agree Trump lies. That’s what he has to do to get your guys to bug off. With liars like you guys . The trick is to lie twice as hard back to you and drive you crazy. If he said yes I did business with Russia you’d drive the living day lights out of him for every time he made asher yatzar in Russia. Much smarter to lie.

          • Wow, must be working great. Today a 4th GOP Senator has criticized Trump’s behavior with Ukraine. Every week polls show support for impeachment proceedings is rising. In these things, first a trickle than a flood.

        • I actually did not have time to respond since about 2 this afternnon. But your comments show your utter ignornace. Every normal corporate job allows you to scroll the news and chill for a few min during lunch and coffee breaks. yes I’ll admit part of the reason why I make so many spelling errors is bec I type quick so that I can get back to work

      • I don’t know if R’ Miller did in fact say what you suggest he said I would say he had no idea what he was talking about. I think you would be very hard pressed to ever find someone who was successfully criminally prosecuted for tax fraud due to complexity of the tax code. To go to jail, the government has to prove “intent.” Not properly complying with a complex provision would actually be a defense that would make proving intent harder, not easier.

        What you perhaps mean is that many folks do commit fraud with intent and if those folks are looked at closely enough there is a high chance they could end up in jail. Kind of like Rubashkin. He committed bank fraud, which was easy to prove as the paper trail was pretty clear. There is no denying that he committed a crime. Educated and intelligent folks, are generally aware of this and their unease with the punishment he met was the severity of it and the concern that anti-semitism played a role in it, not that it was based on false premises.

        Clinton, for example, was subjected to extreme scrutiny and investigations and yet never was a criminal case every successfully brought against them. The e-mails you love, while there was definitely improper behavior there, there was no indication that there was intent, rather the extent of her supposed crime was poor judgement. You need to prove intent to lock someone up.

        So again why should Trump be concerned. If there are errors due to complexity, he may or may not have to pay some extra taxes and penalties, no one is going to actually successfully prosecute him for that. On the other hand, if the pattern of behavior as indicated by what went on with his foundation is present on his personal return, we may have a criminal case. Complexity was not the issue there, rather it was intentional disregard of the laws.

        Seems like the delaying tactics of Trump are wearing thin and sooner or later the various investigative bodies that have a legal right to subpoena his returns will get them. He better hope they show he was squeaky clean as any improprieties will end up being in the news in the year leading up to the next election.

        • The rabbi Miller clip is going viral. reach out to your friends and listen. Your argument is lots of nosense. You don’t need crazy intent to find a gottcha moment. If they want they will get you. Cut the fake news. Rabbi Miller talks about that too on the clip calling the media evil wicked people. And they had no write to access the Nixon tapes either. Listen to what he has to say

          • I read your comment curious to see a rebuttal or perhaps something showing that they put you in jail for tax fraud due to complicated tax laws…

            Nothing, just mention about some video of a Rabbi saying this is so. I guess if R’ Miller said it, it must be correct. No need to show any evidence of your claims, just say R’ Miller said it. I am curious though, what is the basis to accept such claims from a Rabbi, when it is clearly not his area of expertise. It is at most his opinion on a matter that anyone is entitled to question him on. At least anyone with actual knowledge of tax law and what goes on in tax fraud cases would know what you claim the Rabbi said is complete and utter nonsense…

            Don’t believe me, go ask any respectable accountant or tax lawyer. I stand firmly by my assertion that the government would rarely, if ever, be successful in prosecuting someone criminally for a gotcha when it comes to taxes. There is simply no support for such a contention in the long history of case law (all public information). What you are saying to support Trump with regard to taxation is complete and utter ignorance of how the law in this country works.

  2. The Democrats have concluded that Trump is a criminal, despite zero evidence to that effect. They have violated the trust of all Americans by stating that openly, capturing the media to convince the public of this, and launching endless investigations to find something – anything that would support their foregone conclusion. Normal jurisprudence is that one encounters a crime, then searches to find the perpetrator. Not here. I have yet to meet a single Democrat that is willing to follow normal thinking on this, which is why I have devoted a bit of my tefilos to the downfall of this evil cult.

  3. Dead-end Donald will be crushed in the end, just like all the boot lickers he’s surrounded himself with. Flynn, Manafart, Mikey Cohen, Barr, Crazy Unk Rudy, etc. Hiding his tax returns because he knows what’s in them. They’ll be leaked soon. And the Yutz just threw Rick Perry under the Egged Bus over Ukraine!

  4. Mr honest aka yoni I have spoken to accountants and they admit what I am saying . All you need is an overzealous prosecutor and 12 dumb jurors . Listen I agree if you are just a salaried employee who earns 100k a year and gets a clean w2 there ain’t much for the govt to nail you in . But anyone in a complex business you bet the govt can nail you . Yoni you say stuff with conviction as if you know . But you are full of it . If they want they will get any semi complex business man and the jurors are a bunch of 12 jurors to dumb to get out of jury duty . Yes they are vicious people . Get that thru your thick head and stop lying thru your teeth .

    Rubashkin by the way did a very small misdemeanor . No only you and your twisted liberal garbage nonsense beliefs thinks he should have gone to jail . The banks wanted to make those loans and so yes they inflated numbers just like they do with every minority poor guy with bad credit pre 2007 . No big crimes .

    Don’t waste your breath with your silly facts yoni . I don’t like facts I like stores and big pictures . Facts can be twisted . Save your breath mr dishonest yoni . ( honesty would strat by not spamming under ten screen names you fool mr old Yeller)

    Let me repeat rubashkin is innocent and prosecutors can get any businessman on any thing without intent

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