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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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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