On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled against yet another one of President Donald Trump’s challenges to a subpoena for his financial records that was issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who is investigating apparent criminal conduct at the Trump Organization. As CNBC explains, Marrero rejected the president’s challenge to the subpoena and “said that the president failed to show that the subpoena would pose an unfair burden, siding in favor of Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance, Jr., who has said his office is pursuing an investigation of potential violations of state law.”
The case follows an earlier Supreme Court case involving the same subpoena. During that case, the president’s team had argued that Trump was entitled to automatic immunity to the subpoena because of his status as the president. However, there’s no legal precedent for that claim, and seven out of the nine justices on the court — including the two who Trump appointed! — rejected it. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that no “citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.”
The Court referred the matter for further proceedings, allowing the president the opportunity to raise objections to the subpoena other than a flimsy claim of automatic immunity. The latest of those further objections — that Vance’s subpoena was “unduly burdensome and motivated by bad faith,” as Judge Marrero summarized — has now been struck down, for now. Marrero wrote that the president’s team’s argument amounted to an attempt to obtain “absolute immunity through a back door.” Furthermore, Marrero “dismissed the case with prejudice, effectively preventing the president from bringing new arguments to the court for why the subpoena should not be enforced,” CNBC notes.
According to Bloomberg, the president’s legal team plans to appeal the ruling — but it’s not as though they’ve had any major successes at any point in this case so far. Previously, one of the lawyers working with Vance’s office has suggested that obstruction is the whole point of the Trump team’s strategy. Lawyer Carey Dunne commented:
‘What the president’s lawyers are seeking here is delay. I think that’s the entire strategy. Every day that goes by, the president wins the type of absolute temporary immunity he’s been seeking in this case, even though he’s lost on that claim before every court that’s heard it, including now the Supreme Court.’
Trump, for his part, has referred to the Vance-led investigation as a “witch hunt” — so are all these judges throughout the federal court system in on the supposed conspiracy, too? Judge after judge, including, as mentioned, two of his own appointees to the Supreme Court, have ruled against him. In reality, Trump simply has yet to find any legitimate standing on which to challenge the Vance subpoena. As it turns out, standing in a courtroom and delivering a barely watered down version of the argument that “Trump is great and therefore should be exempt from subpoenas” doesn’t exactly work.
Trump can keep slinging these nonsensical legal challenges at the wall all he wants, but, by all appearances, he’s the one who’s slated to lose time and time again, and the prosecutors will keep coming.