A week after the Supreme Court ruled President Donald Trump is not immune from turning over his tax returns and other financial records to the Manhattan district attorney, the president’s legal team said at a Thursday hearing they intended to keep fighting the subpoena (dilatory tactics).
The Daily Beast reports, NY Judge in Trump’s Tax Return Fight: Why Are We Still Here?
Federal Judge Victor Marrero—who originally presided over the case and denied the president’s efforts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from subpoenaing eight years of Trump’s tax returns last year—questioned both sides in a Thursday hearing about what has changed since his previous ruling.
In the video hearing, Marrero hinted that he had already addressed the president’s concerns last October and only new information would change his mind.
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A day after the July 9 Supreme Court victory, Marrero asked both Trump’s lawyers and the district attorney teams to inform him of whether further action was needed in light of the landmark decision.
Trump’s lawyers, in the Wednesday memo, revealed they plan to argue Vance’s subpoena should be blocked, while the district attorney told Marrero that the president’s team is trying to blow past the limitations of the Supreme Court ruling. Both parties, however, agreed the president should make new challenges to the subpoena by July 27.
“It is the president’s position that further proceedings are necessary,” Trump’s lawyers said in the memo. “In those proceedings, the president will file a second amended complaint in which he will raise arguments that the Supreme Court held that he may make on remand.”
On Wednesday, Vance’s office also asked Marrero in the joint memo to order the president to file any additional arguments as soon as possible in order to not lose evidence “as a result of fading memories or lost documents and the risk that applicable statutes of limitations could expire.”
On Thursday, William Consovoy, one of the president’s lawyers, pushed back against Marrero’s skepticism, arguing that Vance’s “wildly over-broad subpoena” was not tailored to the DA’s original investigation and was instead “copied verbatim” from the congressional committees who also sought Trump’s tax returns.
He said Trump “is still reviewing the subpoena” and his team has not yet decided what arguments they plan to raise in an amended complaint against Vance’s request. Calling the legal action a “fishing expedition,” Consovoy argued Trump was “a target for political reasons.”
Assistant District Attorney Carey Dunne hit back, arguing that the president’s legal team did not offer “a single recitation of a single new fact” that would sway the judge’s original ruling, and stressed that “justice delayed is justice denied.”
“What the president’s lawyer is seeking here is delay,” Dunne said, adding that the president achieves some sort of “absolute immunity” with each day that goes by. “This lawsuit has delayed our collection of evidence. We accept that the president has the right to articulate any new claims, except constitutional immunity. But there’s no special heightened standard. It’s like he’s a CEO.”
While the federal judge made no rulings on Thursday, he endorsed the schedule the two parties had previously agreed on. The president will make whatever arguments he wants about the subpoena in a hearing later this month.
“Our office’s position, your honor, is, ‘bring it on,’” Dunne said Thursday.
Note: The District Attorney’s Office also asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to immediately release its ruling to lower federal courts, warning that delaying a process that normally takes up to 25 days could thwart the ability for filing of criminal charges.
Well, surprise, surprise. Supreme Court Fast-Tracks Manhattan DA’s Case for President Trump’s Tax Returns:
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a brief one-page order on Friday, granted Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s request for the high court to immediately send the judgment in Trump v. Vance to the lower courts, putting the ruling into effect.
Under the Supreme Court’s rules, the ruling would normally go into effect 25 days after the court’s opinion is released.
Chief Justice John Roberts issued the following order.
The ruling will allow the federal trial court in New York to quickly resolve any remaining disputes over the subpoenaed documents.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero didn’t waste any time restarting the case after the Supreme Court ruling, ordering both the Manhattan DA and Trump lawyers to submit summaries of arguments.
The Manhattan DA’s Office made sweeping assertions of its ownduring a Thursday hearing—a hearing that provided a clearer image of the road ahead. Trump lawyers are expected to raise anti-subpoena arguments in an amended complaint due by July 27; Vance will then have until August 3 to file a motion to dismiss. Final briefs in the case are due by August 14.
Prosecutors in the Manhattan DA’s Office have stressed that time is of the essence, warning that “issues could arise in the near future concerning the applicable statutes of limitations” due to the “age of many of the transactions at issue in the grand jury’s investigation.”
It appears that Judge Victor Marrero intends to rule quickly, possibly even before Labor Day. But don’t get too excited.
Trump’s lawyers will request a stay of any ruling in favor of Cyrus Vance, and file a notice of appeal. Judge Marero could deny the stay request, but should the court of appeals grant the appeal, it could enter a stay order of its own. Any appeal will take this case well beyond election day.