Aug. 20 (UPI) — A federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid by President Donald Trump to prevent New York prosecutors from obtaining his tax records for a grand jury investigation.
Judge Victor Marrero of Federal District Court in Manhattan dismissed arguments by Trump’s attorneys that a subpoena for the documents from District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is a bad-faith “fishing expedition” and overly broad.
Marrero’s ruling was a new setback for the president’s long-standing efforts to block Vance’s subpoena, which seeks Trump’s personal tax returns dating to 2011 from the Mazars USA accounting firm as part of an investigation into his finances.
The U.S. Supreme Court last month rejected an effort by the president’s attorneys to block the subpoena on grounds of “absolute presidential immunity” from state criminal laws. The high court, however, left open the option to object on other grounds.
In his decision Thursday, Marrero said Trump’s newest objection was an attempt at “absolute immunity through a back door.” He dismissed the case with prejudice, which means Trump’s attorneys can’t return with new arguments.
Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said there will be an appeal and the case could ultimately appear again before the Supreme Court.
The tax records would not be made public, however, as they are part of a grand jury investigation. They would be released publicly, however, if charges are ultimately brought and they’re introduced as evidence at trial.
Vance, the district attorney of Manhattan, said in a court fling this month he’s investigating Trump’s organization for “insurance and bank fraud.” It was earlier revealed he’s looking into hush money payments to two women who claimed to have had sexual affairs with him prior to his election as president.