A federal judge on Monday struck down President Donald Trump’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated, letting the Manhattan district attorney’s office subpoena eight years of Trump’s tax returns.
Trump’s lawyers are appealing the ruling.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. sought Trump’s tax returns while investigating whether the president, or his company, broke any New York State laws by reimbursing his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for hush fund payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, the New York Times reported. Cohen is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for campaign finance violations, fraud, and perjury.
In a 75-page ruling, federal Judge Victor Marrero rejected Trump’s claims of immunity to federal investigation, calling them “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.”
The Founding Fathers repudiated the notion that the president is above the law, Marrero wrote.
“The President asserts an extraordinary claim in the dispute now before this Court,” Marrero wrote. “He contends that, in his view of the President’s duties and functions and the allocation of governmental powers between the executive and the judicial branches under the United States Constitution, the person who serves as President, while in office, enjoys absolute immunity from criminal process of any kind.”
Read Marrero’s ruling below: