NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday denied President Donald Trump’s request to delay letting Manhattan’s district attorney obtain his tax returns for a criminal investigation into his family’s real estate business while Trump pursues an appeal.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero issued his decision a day after rejecting Trump’s arguments that the grand jury subpoena from district attorney Cyrus Vance to obtain his tax returns from the accounting firm Mazars USA was “wildly overbroad.”
In refusing to delay the subpoena, Marrero said Trump had failed to show his appeal would likely succeed, or that he would be irreparably harmed absent a stay.
“Because a grand jury is under a legal obligation to keep the confidentiality of its records, the court finds that no irreparable harm will ensue from the disclosure to it of the President’s records sought here,” Marrero wrote.
Vance, a Democrat, will not obtain Trump’s tax returns immediately, after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan scheduled oral arguments for Sept. 1 on the Republican president’s request for a stay.
Lawyers for Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Vance declined to comment.
In Thursday’s ruling, Marrero said throwing out the subpoena would effectively give the president immunity from Vance’s criminal probe to which the U.S. Supreme Court in July declared he was not entitled.
The legal battle and grand jury secrecy rules make it unlikely the tax returns will become public before the Nov. 3 election in which Trump is seeking a second term.
Unlike other recent presidents, Trump has refused to release his tax returns.
Vance’s investigation into Trump and his Trump Organization was spurred by disclosures of hush money payments to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said they had sexual relationships with Trump. He has denied their claims.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York and Jan Wolfe in Boston; Editing by Alistair Bell and Will Dunham)