NEW YORK — President Donald Trump is not a king, and he must turn over his taxes, a federal judge ruled Monday, tossing out a suit Trump filed to block disclosure.
Trump had sued New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to stop him from carrying out subpoenas in his hush money investigation. The subpoenas demand Trump’s taxes from the accounting firm Mazars.
The president had argued that while he’s in the Oval Office, he’s immune from any sort of criminal probe, echoing Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
In Trump’s version of the argument, the immunity from law enforcement and judicial scrutiny extends to associates and possible henchmen he deals with, including before he was elected.
His legal team asserted that almost “all legal commenters agree” a sitting president is not “subject to the criminal process.”
Calling such an argument “repugnant,” New York Southern District Judge Victor Marrero tossed out Trump’s suit, saying the founders and numerous courts have flatly rejected such claims since the beginning of the nation.
“This Court cannot endorse such a categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity,” Marrero wrote.
He cited the founding fathers’ explicit desire to build a republic that did not have a royal leader, but one who was accountable.
“Shunning the concept of the inviolability of the King of England and the bounds of the monarch’s protective screen covering the Crown’s actions from legal scrutiny, the founders disclaimed any notion that that the Constitution generally conferred similarly all-encompassing immunity upon the president,” Marrero wrote.
The subpoena is part of Vance’s probe of payments the Trump Organization orchestrated to two women _ porn star Stormy Daniels and playmate Karen McDougal _ who claim to have had affairs with Trump. He denies the allegations.
Trump’s lawyers instantly submitted an emergency appeal of the ruling to the 2nd Circuit federal court.
Congress has also been seeking Trump’s taxes, unsuccessfully so far.
Trump lashed out on Twitter after the decision, saying it was unprecedented for a president to be held accountable in court.
“The Radical Left Democrats have failed on all fronts, 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!”
—By Michael McAuliff
New York Daily News