Court Battles

Trump lawyers push back on judge in fight over tax returns

President Trump’s lawyers issued a new legal filing Friday accusing a federal judge of “stacking the deck” against the president in a case to obtain his tax returns and other financial documents.

The lawyers asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a ruling from Judge Victor Marrero of the Southern District of New York that would allow Cy Vance, a New York district attorney, to obtain Trump’s records.

Vance has been working since August 2019 to obtain eight years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns. Trump’s lawyers maintained that Marrero had improperly dismissed their arguments that Vance’s subpoena for the tax returns was too broad and politically motivated.

The Supreme Court has already rejected Trump’s challenge to the subpoena on the argument that the president is immune from criminal probes, and Marrero last month dismissed the argument that Vance’s efforts are “wildly broad.” 

Trump’s lawyers on Friday took issue with Marrero’s assertion that Trump was trying to “reargue presidential immunity” and specifically noted that Marrero wrote that the legal challenge should come to an end.

“The district court believed that this case should be over, that this case does not deserve to be in court, and that its resolution of the motion to dismiss was predetermined by its earlier rejection of the president’s immunity claim,” they wrote, saying the lower court “approached” the issue in the wrong manner.

Vance’s office first initiated grand jury proceedings in 2018 after reports of money that was paid during the 2016 campaign to two women who said they’d had affairs with Trump. Vance’s office has looked to broaden its inquiry to examine other possible financial crimes.

Trump has cast the case as another “witch hunt” and said he will continue to fight the effort, including possibly bringing the case to the Supreme Court for a second time. 

Oral arguments in the case are currently slated for Sept. 25.

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