Politics

Decide denies Trump’s bid for a keep of subpoena in Manhattan DA’s tax information case

A federal judge on Friday denied President Donald Trump’s bid to temporarily block a ruling allowing a subpoena for his tax returns and other financial records.

The decision came a day after the judge rejected Trump’s latest attempt to stop the Manhattan District Attorney’s office from enforcing a subpoena issued to his accounting firm.

Trump’s lawyers on Thursday had filed a request for an emergency stay pending an appeal of that ruling. On Friday, after the judge denied their request, the lawyers filed another motion to delay the release of Trump’s records – this time in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero wrote in his order Friday that Trump “has not demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm” if the subpoena is enforced.

“The Court notes that its views remain unchanged with respect to the President’s likelihood of success on the merits,” Marrero added, “particularly given the concerns addressed in the August 20 Decision regarding the effect of further delay on the grand jury’s investigation.”

The subpoena from D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr., directed to the president’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA, seeks the president’s personal and business records, including tax returns, dating to 2011.

Last month, the Supreme Court rejected the president’s claims that he was immune from state criminal subpoenas in the New York case, ruling in Vance’s favor. That 7-2 decision left open the possibility for Trump to argue that the subpoena should be thrown out, or limited, on other grounds.

Less than three weeks later, Trump’s lawyers filed a new effort in Manhattan federal court to quash Vance’s subpoena. The second complaint argued that the subpoena is “wildly overbroad” and “amounts to harassment of the President in violation of his legal rights.”

Marrero, in his ruling Thursday, sided with Vance.

The district attorney is known to be investigating issues related to hush money payments to two women who allege they had affairs with Trump years before he ran for president. Trump has denied the alleged affairs.

The payments were facilitated by Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen, who in 2018 pleaded guilty to campaign finance crimes related to those payments, has said that he made the payments at Trump’s direction in order to influence the outcome of the election.

In a court filing earlier this month, Vance’s office suggested that its investigation could be much more broad. The filing noted that the office is seeking the years of financial records to see if they contain evidence of other “potentially improper financial transactions by a variety of individuals and entities over a period of years.”

Trump in the 2016 election broke with decades of tradition among presidential candidates by refusing to release his income tax returns to the public.

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