A federal judge denied requests by President Donald Trump to block a subpoena for his tax returns on Thursday, paving the way for the release of the records that Trump has sought to conceal since 2018.
Trump has sought to block the subpoena, issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to his accounting firm, Mazars USA for more than two years. His initial objections to the subpoena reached the Supreme Court, which ruled in July that the president is not immune from criminal investigation. Upon remand, Trump’s legal team changed tactics, arguing that the subpoena was onerous and issued in bad faith. District Court Judge Victor Marrero rejected these claims, ruling that Mazars must comply with the subpoena and release Trump’s tax returns to Vance.
In the opinion, Marrero said that the new strategy from Trump’s legal team was little more than an attempt to obtain “absolute immunity through a back door” to circumvent the Supreme Court’s July ruling. “Absent evidence that compliance with a grand jury subpoena would improperly influence or impede the executive branch’s performance of constitutional duties, the President is entitled to claim no greater shield from judicial process than any other person,” said Marrero before noting that the president’s legal team had provided no reasonable evidence of any overbreadth or indications of bad faith by Vance. As a result, Marrero denied Trump’s request to block the release of the subpoenas.
Trump’s legal team plans to appeal the judgment to the Second Circuit.