Judge denies Trump’s request for a stay on subpoena for tax records
A federal judge in New York on Friday denied President Trump’s request to temporarily halt a grand jury subpoena for his tax returns from taking effect.
The ruling by District Judge Victor Marrero comes a day after he dismissed Trump’s latest attempt to block a New York grand jury subpoena for eight years of Trump’s financial documents, including his personal and corporate tax returns.
Trump’s personal attorneys had asked Marrero, a Clinton appointee, to pause his Thursday decision from taking effect while Trump appealed to the New York-based federal appeals court — a request Marrero shot down Friday in a nine-page decision.
The recent rulings against Trump move Manhattan prosecutors closer to obtaining the president’s tax returns, though it’s unlikely the public will see them before the November election.
In his Friday decision, Marrero said Trump had failed to prove he would suffer “irreparable harm” if his stay request were denied.
“Because a grand jury is under a legal obligation to keep the confidentiality of its records, the Court finds that no irreparable harm will ensue from the disclosure to it of the President’s records sought here,” Marrero wrote.
Within hours, Trump’s personal attorneys asked the New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to halt Marrero’s ruling from taking effect while they mount an appeal.
The circuit court on Friday afternoon agreed to hold a Sept. 1 hearing on the issue, but declined Trump’s request for an emergency stay. It’s unclear if Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. will attempt to enforce the subpoena in the interim, and his office did not respond to a request for comment.
The earliest day Vance could enforce the subpoena is next Friday.
Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow said that his team would continue to seek a stay at the Supreme Court.
The judge’s dismissal of Trump’s arguments relied heavily on the Supreme Court’s landmark decision last month that rejected Trump’s claim that presidents enjoy absolute immunity from criminal probes.
The dispute over access to Trump’s financial records arose after Vance obtained a grand jury subpoena for Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA.
Vance’s office is looking into payments made to silence two women who allege they had affairs with Trump, including adult-film star Stormy Daniels, before he became president, as well as possibly extensive criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.
Trump has tried for nearly a year to fend off the Manhattan district attorney subpoena and has lost every round of the battle in court.
Recent developments in the case may accelerate the timing of when prosecutors obtain the president’s tax returns. But legal analysts expect that grand jury secrecy rules will keep Trump’s financial records concealed from the public beyond the election.
—Morgan Chalfant contributed. Updated at 6:31 p.m.
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