Attorney Cyrus Vance wanted to obtain these statements as part of an investigation into a payment to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels. Donald Trump has always asserted judicial immunity related to his function.
Already embroiled in impeachment proceedings, Donald Trump suffered another setback on Monday (October 7th) with the decision of a New York judge to allow the transmission of his tax returns, which he has fiercely refused to disclose. months.
Just minutes after the release of the decision, Donald Trump appealed through one of his lawyers, William Consovoy. At the end of the morning, a Federal Court of Appeal decided to suspend the decision while considering the appeal on the merits. Another lawyer for the president, Jay Sekulow, said that Donald Trump and his advice were "Very satisfied" this suspension, which provides additional time to the US President.
"Democrats of the radical left have failed on all fronts, so now they are pushing Democratic prosecutors in New York and the state (from New York) to pick up President Trump ", responded the US head of state in a Tweet. Manhattan Attorney Cyrus Vance and New York State Attorney Letitia James are elected prosecutors, unlike the federal magistrates appointed by the President. They had both presented themselves under the Democratic label. " Something like that never happened to any president (American) previously. Far from it ! " Mr. Trump was offended.
Attorney Cyrus Vance wanted to obtain from Mazars these tax returns, which cover eight years from 2011 to 2018, as part of an investigation into a payment made to the pornographic actress Stormy Daniels to buy his silence on a supposed liaison with the American president.
Donald Trump asserted the judicial immunity related to his function, which would have allowed him, he said, to block any claim concerning him, even if it had been to a third party, the firm Mazars, which dealt with its tax affairs and not to him.
Immunity in question
In his highly argued, 75-page decision, Federal Judge Victor Marrero found that this immunity "Can not protect the president from any legal proceedings" and the "Place above the law".
The doctrine of the Ministry of Justice, formalized in a memo dated 2000, wants that a president of the United States in office can not be prosecuted criminally because that "Undermine the spirit of the Constitution, the ability of the executive to perform its functions as defined by the Constitution. " But Judge Marrero observes that this doctrine has never been formally tested in judicial proceedings, and that a blur remains.
He also mentioned the arguments of some jurists that immunity would be valid for acts carried out in the framework of the presidential office, but not for others, particularly those carried out before being elected. This is the case of the $ 130,000 that former Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, said he paid Stormy Daniels in 2016 on behalf of the Republican candidate, according to him to buy the silence of the pornographic actress.
Prosecutor Vance's action is a new attempt to get Donald Trump's tax returns. He is the first American president since Richard Nixon to refuse to disclose his tax situation.
A breach in the president's shield
Faced with this refusal, the parliamentary committee called "Ways and Means" ("Ways and Means") had formally requested the tax authorities to produce these documents. But in early May, the US Treasury refused to run.
Also in May, the New York State Parliament passed a bill that would allow Donald Trump's tax returns to be tabled in congressional committees. But Donald Trump has counter-attacked and blocked, for now, the communication of the famous tax sheets by this channel.
The California Parliament has also attempted to create a breach in the shield of the American president. He passed a law that would have banned Donald Trump from representing himself at the Republican primary because he failed to publish his tax returns. Seized by the legal team of the President of the United States, a federal judge temporarily suspended the application of this text in mid-September.