The President’s tax records could be on their way to a grand jury.
This morning, US District Judge Victor Marrero formally ruled against President Donald Trump in the ongoing battle for Trump’s tax returns. According to Judge Marrero’s ruling, New York state prosecutors are entitled to Trump’s accounting records for the purpose of criminal investigation.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been investigating the President’s finances for a prolonged period in order to determine if Trump himself or the Trump Organization violated state laws. Potential charges include paying hush money to several women, falsifying business records, and tax violations.
Trump has already appealed Judge Marrero’s ruling, which an appeals court will hear separately to determine if Vance’s office can subpoena the records from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA. Trump has repeatedly claimed that as the President, he should have absolute immunity to all criminal investigations.
In a response to Trump’s claims, Vance said his argument is “as unprecedented and far-reaching as it is perilous to the rule of law and other bedrock constitutional principles on which this country was founded and by which it continues to be governed.”
Trump had previously attempted to sue Vance’s office to block the subpoena, but the judge ruled the case as invalid and moved to throw it out.
In response to accusations that Vance’s subpoena was intended to aid Trump’s Democratic opponents, Judge Marrero offered an opinion. “While the Mazars Subpoena may well have been issued for that particular purpose, the lack of specific facts tying the Mazars Subpoena to those politicians prevents the Court from reasonably inferring that the Mazars Subpoena reflects an effort to advance the Democrats’ goals rather than legitimate ones,” he said.
The subpoena is set to be enforced some time next week. Barring any sudden changes, the President’s tax records may well appear before a grand jury before the November election.