Trump loses NY court fight to keep tax returns hidden

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses an event for the Young Black Leadership Summit in the East Room of the White House

President Trump's lawyers immediately appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, also based in Manhattan, meaning the returns are unlikely to be turned over immediately.

While binding on Justice Department, the opinions don't have the force of law, nor should they, at least in the way that Trump's lawyers desire, Marrero said in his ruling. A thing like this has never happened to any President before. "Not even close!" Trump tweeted.

President Trump brought the lawsuit after the Manhattan district attorney's office subpoenaed his longtime accounting firm for his tax returns. It's part of an investigation into allegatiopns of hush-payments made to two models who say they had affairs with Trump.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office is investigating payments whether the Trump Organization violated any laws by reimbursing Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, who made the hush-money payments on behalf of Trump in 2016.

Against convention, Trump has not released his tax returns since declaring a run for the White House in mid-2015.

Mazars did not respond to requests for comment but has said it would comply with its legal obligations. The Justice Department also took Trump's side in the case.

In his opinion, Marrero allowed that some aspects of the criminal process could impede a President's ability to perform his duties. But Marrero dismissed that concern, saying "certainly lengthy imprisonment upon conviction would produce that result" and that Trump's "sweeping" theory lacked support in the Constitution.

Even if NY prosecutors obtain the financial records, the public won't see them. In fact, the court issued a stay of decision.

"We believe that the Constitution requires recognition of a presidential immunity from indictment and criminal prosecution while the president is in office", Moss concluded in 2000.

"The court can not square a vision of presidential immunity that would place the President above the law", Marrero added. "The constitutional dimensions of the presidential shield from judicial process are virtually limitless".

The appeals court set October 21 as the soonest date it may hear arguments in the appeal.

But they haven't been tested by a court, and a state prosecutor like Vance may disagree with the analysis in the memos and try to charge Trump.

As Rachel noted on the show recently, Trump's legal team insisted that a sitting American president can not be investigated by anyone for any reason, no matter how serious the underlying accusation.

Marrero's decision would have forced Mazars to start turning over documents on Monday afternoon, but the appeals court said the case had "unique issues", justifying a delay.

"T$3 he Court rejects the DOJ Memos' position", Marrero wrote. And although that policy remains in effect, it hasn't been ruled on by a court or enacted into law by Congress. Cohen said he and Weisselberg were both in Trump's office when Trump "directed us to go back to Weisselberg's office and figure this [the $130,000 payment to Daniels] all out".

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