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Trump’s Attorneys Try to Force Federal Judge’s Hand in Tax Return Lawsuit


Attorneys representing President Donald Trump are seeking to force the hand of a federal judge overseeing Trump’s lawsuit against Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.  Trump’s attorneys on Friday told the judge that if he does not issue a ruling in the case by Monday morning, they will have no choice but to appeal directly to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Trump filed the lawsuit to prevent Vance’s office from enforcing subpoenas demanding Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, to turn over Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns dating back to 2011.  Vance is seeking the tax returns as part of an investigation into whether Trump violated state law by making alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

“As of this morning, this Court has not ruled on the President’s pending motion, which invokes the President’s constitutional immunity from state criminal subpoenas and requests an administrative stay, a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, or a stay pending appeal,” Trump attorney William Consovoy wrote in the letter to U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero.

Consovoy said that because the deadline to comply with the DA’s subpoena is 1 p.m. Monday, which the DA’s office has refused to stay, a ruling must be made before the President’s financial records are delivered to a grand jury.

Blaming the District Attorney’s office for imposing the “entirely artificial” time pressure on the Court, Consovoy asked the court to resolve the conflict by granting his request for interim relief, which he says “would give the Court all the time it needs to consider these important issues without expressing a view on the merits.”

Consovoy then takes the audacious step of imposing a ruling deadline on Judge Marrero.

“In all events, the President needs a ruling (even in the form of a minute order) from this Court by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, October 7, 2019,” he wrote.

Claiming any ruling handed down after Monday morning would cause the President irreparable harm, Consovoy tells Marrero that if he fails to issue a ruling, his inaction will be viewed as a denial of Trump’s request.

“Thus, if this Court has not yet acted on the President’s request for interim relief (or otherwise adjudicated the dispute between the parties) by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, the President will have no choice but to construe the Court’s inaction as a denial and to appeal to the Second Circuit,” Consovoy wrote.

“In sum inaction here – no less than an explicit rejection – will have the ‘practical effect’ of denying the President’s request for injunctive relief preserving the status quo.”

Trump Attorney Letter to Judge by Law&Crime on Scribd

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.