A Federal Judge Just Ruled That Trump Is Not Above the Law and Needs to Turn Over His Taxes

The Manhattan DA wins a case to subpoena Trump’s tax returns, but the president is already appealing.

Stefani Reynolds/Zuma

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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:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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