A US federal judge has cleared the way for Manhattan’s top prosecutor to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns, rejecting a last-ditch attempt by his lawyers to block a subpoena issued to his accounting firm.
US District Judge Victor Marrero’s ruling echoes his prior decision in the case, which was upheld by the US Supreme Court last month.
The high court returned the case to Judge Marrero so Mr Trump’s lawyers could get another chance to challenge the subpoena issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
Mr Trump, through his lawyers, has argued that the subpoena was issued in bad faith, might have been politically motivated and amounted to harassment of him, especially since the wording mimicked the language in congressional subpoenas.
Mr Vance’s lawyers said they were entitled to extensive records to aid a “complex financial investigation” and they cited in their papers public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organisation”.
Mr Trump’s lawyers said that the request for tax records dating back to 2011 was retaliatory after the president’s company, the Trump Organisation, disputed the scope of a subpoena seeking records from June 1 2015 through until September 20 2018.
That time span pertains to an investigation related to payoffs to two women, including porn actress Stormy Daniels, to keep them quiet during the 2016 presidential campaign about alleged extramarital affairs with Mr Trump.
Mr Trump has denied the affairs.