The New York judge also rejected the notion that a sitting president can’t be indicted.
A federal judge in Manhattan spiked President Donald Trump’s attempt to block a New York City prosecutor from obtaining his tax and financial records from the accounting firm Mazars, dismissing his “extraordinary” claim to be immune from criminal investigation.
In a 75-page ruling on Monday, Judge Victor Marrero, also issued a sharp rejection of longstanding Department of Justice opinions that say a president cannot be indicted or criminally prosecutors while in office, calling their conclusions “not warranted” or backed up by the authority of the courts.
Marrero said Trump’s claim of “absolute immunity” from criminal proceedings was counter to the intent of the framers of the constitution, who rejected an executive with the limitless power of a monarch. Marrero described the president’s argument as “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.”
In addition, the effort by Trump to scuttle the city prosecutor’s subpoena would protect any potential accomplices from facing justice while Trump remained in office, Marrero noted — a sweeping claim of immunity that could result in Trump and his allies being above the law. Similar arguments have been soundly and repeatedly rejected by the Supreme Court and other federal judges, he ruled.
“The notion of … presidential immunity from judicial process that the President here invokes, unqualified and boundless in its reach described above, cuts against the grain of these Constitutional precedents,” wrote Marrero, an appointee of President Bill Clinton in 1999.
The president filed an emergency appeal on Monday.
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