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Federal judge orders Trump to turn over 8 years of tax returns

President Donald J. Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House after disembarking Marine One Tuesday, July 30, 2019, following his trip to Williamsburg, Va. (Courtesy Photo by Caleb Spencer)
October 07, 2019

A federal judge has decided Monday morning that President Trump must turn over the past eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns from 2011 to the present.

Manhattan-based federal court Judge Victor Marrero declared in a 75-page ruling that Trump does not have presidential immunity from investigations or judicial actions, the New York Times reported.

Marrero described Trump’s challenge as “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values,” adding that he cannot rule in favor of “categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity from judicial process.”

Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. issued a subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, a little more than a month ago, amid an investigation into whether Trump had reimbursed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, for payments made to porn film star Stormy Daniels regarding her nondisclosure of an alleged affairs she claims to have had with Trump.

Vance’s office had said they would hold off on enforcing the subpoena until two days after Marrero’s ruling, giving Trump an opportunity to appeal.

Trump’s attorneys quickly responded to the decision and said they would file an appeal.

While a sitting president is immune from facing federal charges due to temporary immunities provided to them via the Department of Justice during their time in the White House, that immunity does not extend to investigations, or charges by local prosecutors.

If Vance enforces the subpoena, the tax returns are not expected to become public due to rules protecting the confidentiality of grand jury investigations before criminal case proceedings begin.