Patterico's Pontifications

10/7/2019

Federal Judge: Trump Will Have to Disclose His Tax Returns to Manhattan D.A.

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 am



The New York Times reports:

A federal judge on Monday rejected a bold argument from President Trump that sitting presidents are immune from criminal investigations, a ruling that allowed the Manhattan district attorney’s office to move forward with a subpoena seeking eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns.

Lawyers for Mr. Trump quickly told the court they would appeal the ruling from Judge Victor Marrero of Manhattan federal court. An appeal is likely to mean further delays.

In a 75-page ruling, Judge Marrero called the president’s argument “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.” Presidents, their families and businesses are not above the law, the judge wrote.

The office is investigating the Stormy Daniels payoff. According to the court, if Trump’s assertion of privilege were accepted, it would mean that as President, he and all his business affiliates, associates, and relatives would be immune from the application of any kind of criminal investigative tool looking into private as well as personal matters, before and during his tenure in office. Oddly, the Southern District of New York had weighed in to request that the judge delay his decision to allow them to give their view, saying that the stay would “prevent irreparable harm to the President’s asserted constitutional interest in not having his records subjected to state criminal compulsory process in these circumstances, while the District Attorney has identified no prejudice from a short delay to this discrete portion of the grand jury investigation at issue.”

Oh, Bill Barr. You have taken the SDNY’s collective testicles and placed them in a drawer in your desk. Well done, sir, well done.

“Irreparable harm” how, by the way? Releasing the tax records while they are (supposedly) under the audit that will apparently last the rest of Trump’s natural life? Have we forgotten that he promised to release them to the public (not a secret grand jury as here) once the phantom audits were done?

Anyway. The judge’s ruling is here. I found this part eye-opening:

Trump Lengthy Incarceration

The judge’s hypothetical reference to the President’s potential “lengthy incarceration” amused me. I couldn’t help but picture Marco Rubio standing in the well of the U.S. Senate deliberating whether to remove Trump from office as Trump serves a “lengthy incarceration” for New York State criminal offenses. After quoting Josh Hawley’s and Ted Cruz’s fiery speeches supporting Trump, Liddle’ Marco then meekly quotes the Constitution, grimaces, and turns to an aide. The hot mic captures his whispered question: “Does Trump still have his smartphone in prison? The one with the Twitter app?”

After being told guards can be bribed to allow such devices, Marco is a nay on removal.

There will still be litigation to come, but the judge’s ruling is pretty convincing. This is not the kind of thing federal courts get involved with. It will be fascinating to see what position Bill Barr’s SDNY takes on appeal.

UPDATE: The order has been stayed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which has set a very expedited briefing schedule. A stay is perfectly normal, by the way, and does not mean the Second Circuit plans to reverse.

I should add, to make Popehat happy on Twitter, that technically it’s not “Trump” who has to turn over the tax returns. It’s the accounting firm to which the subpoena was directed. I don’t think the headline is really that far off, though, as a practical matter.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

74 Responses to “Federal Judge: Trump Will Have to Disclose His Tax Returns to Manhattan D.A.”

  1. And podesta and weber dont charged, vittee took over the deripasha account, greg craig gets away scott free.

    narciso (d1f714)

  2. The judge is a Clinton appointee. But this is about the law, not the president— err, I mean, the judge.

    Munroe (53beca)

  3. While the result seems correct, does anyone doubt that the NY grand jury system, and the office of the Manhattan DA are being used against a political enemy of Mr. Vance and his party? And that such is a major motivating factor here?

    So the question is, again, why is that kosher when one side does it, but an impeachable offense when the other side does it?

    On that note, I was very impressed with the following article:

    https://reason.com/2019/10/03/let-us-now-thank-donald-trump-for-revealing-brutal-truths-about-how-power-and-privilege-operate/

    He is very negative about Trump (as am I), but he points out that Trumps great strength is that in his buffoonish and corrupt way, he highlights how corrupt the current system is, and how hypocritical his detractors are.

    Perhaps it takes a Swamp Thing to “Drain the Swamp.”

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  4. This about the law not the judge.

    LOL. The “Judge” is left-wing Puerto Rican, who was deeply involved in the Clinton Administration and very liberal. He struck down parts of the Patriot Act. Just another Democrat in black robes fighting Trump. Trump will appeal, so it just depends on who hears the case at the Appeals level.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  5. @4 good point. Only White Republican’s should be allowed to be judges.

    Time123 (6e0727)

  6. “He struck down parts of the Patriot Act.”

    You say this like it’s a bad thing.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  7. While the result seems correct, does anyone doubt that the NY grand jury system, and the office of the Manhattan DA are being used against a political enemy of Mr. Vance and his party? And that such is a major motivating factor here?

    So the question is, again, why is that kosher when one side does it, but an impeachable offense when the other side does it?

    Maybe because “it” isn’t the same thing here.

    In NY
    -Trump @ associates are accused of specific crimes. These accusations are based on evidence. They can challenge this in an agreed upon process. If they can show the prosecution is malicious they have recourse under our legal system. 100% domestic.

    In the Ukraine
    -No specific crime is alleged, and also no evidence presented of a crime. No process. No recourse for malicious prosecution. Involves a foreign government into our internal politics.

    These seem like substantive differences to me.

    Time123 (7cca75)

  8. @6 Dave, RCocean already told us the judge wasn’t white…therefore everything the judge does is suspect.

    Time123 (6e0727)

  9. No hes a leftist hack, like the one in kansaa city that doesnt like immigration law.

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. Why everyone in this country worships Federal Judges and lets them poke their nose into everything and have the final say on EVERY State and Federal law and every Federal administration action is beyond me. Its not in the Constitution as written.

    This P.R. judge was just some Left-wing lawyer in the Clinton Administration until 1999, when he put on some black robes and now he’s a master of the universe and can strike down the Patriot act or stick it to Trump because…reasons. Why don’t we just get rid of Congress and let the Judges have the whole thing? Then all conformist dummies could just go back to football and drinking beer and wouldn’t have to worry their pretty little heads about Politics.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  11. Times123 — the whole point of an investigation is to see whether there is criminality, whether that is in the Ukraine or in Manhattan.

    These lawyerly distinctions are what enrages half the country and why we have Trump.

    (And as for malicious prosecution, you are simply wrong. Prosecutors have absolute immunity from any civil immunity, and are virtually never challenged for wrongdoing, no matter how egregious. At worst they get a slap on the wrist. And even that is a rarity.)

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  12. Why everyone in this country worships Federal Judges and lets them poke their nose into everything

    It was Trump who went into federal court to get an injunction against the Manhattan DA.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  13. BL, I read you link and I agree with most of what he wrote.

    Several things
    1. IANAL but my understanding is that an investigation needs to be based on a reasonable suspicion. It can’t be opened based on whim. Is that correct?

    2. A prosecutor used their discretion to focus on someone they dislike is bad. But The President abused the power of their office to get a foreign government to harm a political opponent is much much worse. I’m not sure yet exactly what Trump did or if it justifies impeachment. I do support an investigation that puts statements under oath and lays out actual evidence, as opposed to talking head hot takes. YMMV

    3. The correct response to corruption is recommit to our values and fix the system. It is not to use corrupt methods for our benefit. Trump and his allies have vast power to drive reforms to the system. They have so far chosen not to do so.

    4. I will defer to you about how the system works wrt to a prosecutor’s discretion.

    Time123 (7cca75)

  14. Hey RC, why do you keep bringing up the Judges race?

    Time123 (7cca75)

  15. “No recourse for malicious prosecution.”
    Time123 (7cca75) — 10/7/2019 @ 8:46 am

    Yeah, those Ted Stevens prosecutors were sure hung out to dry — not. Meanwhile, we still have the ACA.

    It’s the template that’s now the new normal, and nobody’s supposed to notice — or it’s a Whaddabout.

    Munroe (53beca)

  16. Meanwhile, we still have the ACA.

    Yeah, your guy really effed up getting rid of that and replacing it with something better. How many times did he try? One time? than he moved on to making Mexico pay for the wall. let me know when that check clears.

    Time123 (6e0727)

  17. Cy Vance is a toad. No better than Trump, just not nationwide. He is abusing the grand jury system and its subpoena power for political purposes and for his own personal advancement, and if he can do it to Trump he can do it to anybody.

    As for judge in this case, not everybody can be a Trump butt gerbil. Somebody has to show some restraint and follow the law and the rules of equity. Trump has no federal case.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. The “Judge” is left-wing Puerto Rican, who was deeply involved in the Clinton Administration and very liberal.

    Unti you can tell us where the judge is wrong in fact or in the law, all you have here is and ad hominem fallacy.

    And why the scare-quotes on Judge? Are you trying to say that he really wasn’t appointed to the bench, but it merely pretending?

    The more I see from Trump fanbois, the less inclined I am to vote Republican in the future.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  19. “Yeah, your guy really effed up getting rid of that and replacing it with something better. How many times did he try? One time?”
    Time123 (6e0727) — 10/7/2019 @ 9:34 am

    You’re confused. McCain wasn’t my guy. I’m guessing he was yours.

    Munroe (f2f14e)

  20. Claimed “irreparable harm” is no reason for eyerolling. California has a judicially imposed bar to the production of returns in civil litigation unless they are really, really relevant to something.

    Here we have a federal prosecutor, evidently with no local crimes to handle, wanting to “investigate” a payment made 3 years ago. To a woman with no apparent qualifications or link to the election. Except large beasts.

    And while no president is immune from an investigation, he should not be treated as a litigation pinata either. No in camera investigation? no partial production? And that snotty observation about a prison term-really?

    As some perceptive person noted above, its seemingly a given that this is Cy Vance jr’s political pursuit of Trump. On the plainly silly basis that silencing a large-breasted woman is a federal crime

    This ransacking personal records is not a good thing. I remember Obama’s opponent in one Illinois race had his sealed divorce files opened.

    Let’s see what the higher courts do.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  21. “You’re confused. ”

    “So, just to sum up, I would do various things very quickly. I would repeal and replace the big lie, Obamacare.”

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  22. BTW, do you know who else was a Clinton appointee? Trump’s sister.

    And who are the people in this foursome?

    nk (dbc370)

  23. first appointed by Reagan, fwiw, look we know the game, judge Sullivan after holder slapped him down will pretend to inquire about Clinton matters, but not too closely, judge Walton, who enabled the libby sham trial, much the same,

    narciso (d1f714)

  24. You’re confused. McCain wasn’t my guy. I’m guessing he was yours.

    Munroe (f2f14e) — 10/7/2019 @ 9:38 am

    One try, Trump gave it ONE try. Mcain voted against and I guess we’re done. Mcain will never not be in the senate so i guess this is over. What you like more about Trump, that he’s a fighter? or all the winning?

    Time123 (6e0727)

  25. And who are the people in this foursome?

    I count six.

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. I would like to further point out that the Trumps have been culo y bragas (thick as thieves) with the corrupt New York political establishment for two generations. Trump is mired in the very same sewer he crawled out of.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. You’re confused. McCain wasn’t my guy. I’m guessing he was yours.

    Munroe (f2f14e) — 10/7/2019 @ 9:38 am

    So when presented with a crystal clear example of Trump making a promise and utterly failing to accomplish it, and also failing to really try to keep it, your response is to talk about a deceased Senator who never was president, that few here really liked. Of course you insinuate dishonestly that Trump’s critics are Mccain fanboys in order to change the subject from

    Trump failing

    to a personal argument. Anything to change the subject. Never a clear answer to anything. Obamacare might as well be called Trumpcare now.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  28. Re: ACA repeal.
    Hmmm, let’s not indulge ourselves in oversimplification? Efforts* at repeal have been numerous.
    * be they sincere, or merely wallpaper, they have happened…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efforts_to_repeal_the_Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

    There is/was not much that Trump can/could do w/r/t repealing a duly-legislated and signed law. (Keep in mind, that our courts generally won’t even let him repeal EO’d policies with another EO.)

    IIRC, and correct me if I’m wrong on the details, even if the House could muster a compromise bill to pass (and, really, there should have been one ready-to-go on Jan. 20, 2017, but there wasn’t), given the razor-thin majority in the Senate, it became impossible to arrive at any Republican compromise legislation that would satisfy both the Rand Paul wing, on the one hand, and the Collins/Murkowski/McCain wing, on the other.
    That the Republican House & Senate leaders failed in THEIR promises and responsibilities vis-a-vis ACA repeal shouldn’t, I believe, be laid at the feet of Trump. Of course, YMMV

    ColoComment (27e48b)

  29. 2nd circuit upholds a stay for now,

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. Colocomment, I was mostly just making for Munroe.

    Yes there have been many repeal votes. There was 1 vote after Trump because president and you’re right there’s plenty of blame to go around. Repeal was easy, but there wasn’t’ any plan to replace. I agree finding a replacement that would get broad support is challenging. People have pointed that out. But Trump’s approach of saying it would be easy to eliminate it and replace it with something better, without any details, was the one the voters liked. It hasn’t work very well yet.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  31. “here is/was not much that Trump can/could do w/r/t repealing a duly-legislated and signed law. ”

    What do you call someone who promises to do something they’re not capable of doing?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  32. #33 “here is/was not much that Trump can/could do w/r/t repealing a duly-legislated and signed law. ”

    What do you call someone who promises to do something they’re not capable of doing?

    Davethulhu (fab944) — 10/7/2019 @ 10:58 am

    A politician?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  33. 3. Bored Lawyer (998177) — 10/7/2019 @ 8:22 am

    does anyone doubt that the NY grand jury system, and the office of the Manhattan DA are being used against a political enemy of Mr. Vance and his party?

    I don’t.

    I do wonder why doesn’t Trump challenge the subpoena on more normal grounds. Perhaps he has and/or [erhps he doesn’t want anyone getting even aglimpse of his business and tax records.

    They are apparently, ostensibly investigating whether there wass afaksification of business records (not even tax evasion!) when Trump’s company was (probably) used to reimburse the National Enquirer for the payoff they had made to Karen McDougal.

    If the thibg was kept secret it would most easily have been treated as abusiness expense, instead of a check being cut to Donald Trump and Trump using his own check. Perhaps they are looking into whether that happened other times.

    Sammy Finkelman (0d0ca8)

  34. Nobody but nobody, or nobody who could get any attention had any idea of something good to replace the ACA with.

    Sammy Finkelman (0d0ca8)

  35. I’ll suggest that Trump likely believed that he’d be able to rely on support and cooperation from his legislative Republican cohort, and that assumption, which unfortunately turned out to be unwarranted, led to his [perhaps rash, perhaps not] “promise” to repeal and/or replace ACA. And the Wall. And all the other claims that persuaded people to vote for him rather than the presented alternatives.
    Who knew or would have guessed it likely that the anti-Trump Republicans would (as my dear departed mother would have said) “cut off their nose to spite their face”?
    If Trump, on the other hand, had reneged on his indication that he’d sign a repeal/replace bill, and if he had vetoed or pocket-vetoed a bill that had passed both chambers, then I think there would be cause to complain, and loudly.
    …just trying to play Devil’s Advocate here…. : )

    ColoComment (27e48b)

  36. “A politician?”

    Drain the swamp!

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  37. What do you call someone who promises to do something they’re not capable of doing?

    Well, it’s Trump we’re talking about, so moron? Clueless, liar, corrupt, there are many things that accurately describe him, but knowledgeable about [insert subject here] is not one of them.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  38. Sammy, I would have much rather they’d just nuked the whole ACA law and gone back to status quo ante, while they figured out if there were an economically rational & politically supportable policy program to propose.

    ACA was built and passed on lies perpetrated on a gullible population by ethically-challenged politicians and their advisers. It never made economic sense.

    Prior to ACA, states had subsidized high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions. Health insurance providers did offer multiple choices of short v. long term, high v. low deductible/premium, diverse coverage policies to match market demand. Within defined geographic areas, there was competition for consumers.

    ColoComment (27e48b)

  39. He lives in the ‘now.’

    So when this does all come out one day–and it will after he is long out of office and dead– it won’t matter to him. Though it may perturb the blindly loyal supporters who took the bait when they see, like everyone from ex-wives, mistresses, contractors and assorted businessmen over the decades– how they were snookered. What a showman.

    But for now…

    “Ain’t nuttin’ gonna happen…” – ‘Quincy Maddox’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. 39:

    Its not as if he is a 29 y/o bartender, 16 y/o Swede, 78 y/o socialist, holder of a “journalism degree,” Hillary’s daughter, or some other widely respected expert in such matters.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  41. That the Republican House & Senate leaders failed in THEIR promises and responsibilities vis-a-vis ACA repeal shouldn’t, I believe, be laid at the feet of Trump. Of course, YMMV

    What can be laid at Trump’s feet is his inability and unwillingness to lead his own party. He has shown absolutely no desire to build any kind of coalition.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  42. “Its not as if he is a 29 y/o bartender, 16 y/o Swede, 78 y/o socialist, holder of a “journalism degree,” Hillary’s daughter, or some other widely respected expert in such matters.”

    He’s a 73 y/o con man, and you’re one of his marks.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  43. Judge never addresses the more important question – whether the release of the tax returns is even relevant.

    The payment to Stormy is known – ie the date of transfer of money – So why is nine years relevant when only a single date/year is relevant.

    The second point – How are the federal agents going to find out if a single expenditure is deducted on the tax return without the underlying financial records? Do they really think there will be a one line description of an expense titled “payoff to bimbo”?

    Joe - the non legal expert (debac0)

  44. Judge marrero, btw doesnt believe in the olc memos re indictment

    narciso (d1f714)

  45. Many of the Founders assumed that the Executive was NOT subject to prosecution during his term. Time and again, during the repeated discussions of Impeachment, the worry was expressed about the inability to remove a criminal President short of assassination or other main force, and eventually the Impeachment process was sorted out.

    https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/farrand-the-records-of-the-federal-convention-of-1787-vol-1

    At the VERY least, the President has to be immune from politically-inspired harassment such as the present case, where the animus of the DA is plain to all and openly expressed.

    This is for much the same reason that court officials have immunity from certain lawsuits, lest plaintiff’s attorney’s inundate them with nuisance suits. To allow trivial lawfare as a political tactic is already the bane of our society and extending it further is worse than a mistake.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  46. Of course, I can rely on Trump’s attorneys to make all the wrong arguments, directed by a moron as they are.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  47. #43
    What can be laid at Trump’s feet is his inability and unwillingness to lead his own party. He has shown absolutely no desire to build any kind of coalition.

    Chuck, are you not begging the question, e.g., making assumptions based on evident lack of action but where we have no idea of the actual reasons therefor?

    We do not know anything of the behind the scenes conversations, arguments, discussions, arm-twisting, etc., that he may have exerted or that may have been rejected. I’ll suggest that rather than a failure to “lead” his party, we might consider that “his” party may quite possibly have refused to follow his lead.

    Again, Devil’s Advocate at work here.

    ColoComment (27e48b)

  48. You guys DO realize that using the courts and silly lawyer tricks against Trump only weakens him among those who respect lawyers and politicized courts? Which is NOT the bulk of the voters? Right?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  49. It is truly sad that the willingness to defend a person’s rights is now completely subject to whether you like them or not.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  50. Chuck, are you not begging the question, e.g., making assumptions based on evident lack of action but where we have no idea of the actual reasons therefor?

    Do you have any evidence of any behind-the-scenes negotiations Trump has been involved in? Given his willingness to publicize nearly everything he does and the lack of him publicizing any such negotiations, I am utterly unconvinced that he has tried to convince anyone within his party to go along.

    I think you’re being way too generous to Trump to assume that he’s been trying to lead a party that would not be led. After all, Bush didn’t have much trouble getting a coalition of his party moving in the direction he wanted. And Trump is way better than Bush (at least, that’s what the Trump fanbois say).

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  51. Constitutional Convention, July 20, 1787, debate and vote on idea of Impeachment:

    “to be removeable on impeachment and conviction 〈for〉 malpractice or neglect of duty”. See Resol: 9:

    Mr. Pinkney & Mr Govr. Morris moved to strike out this part of the Resolution. Mr P. observd. he 〈ought not to〉 be impeachable whilst in office

    Mr. Davie. If he be not impeachable whilst in office, he will spare no efforts or means whatever to get himself re-elected. He considered this as an essential security for the good behaviour of the Executive.8

    Mr Wilson concurred in the necessity of making the Executive impeachable whilst in office.

    Mr. Govr. Morris. He can do no criminal act without Coadjutors who may be punished. In case he should be re-elected, that will be sufficient proof of his innocence. Besides who is to impeach? Is the impeachment to suspend his functions. If it is not the mischief will go on. If it is the impeachment will be nearly equivalent to a displacement, [65] and will render the Executive dependent on those who are to impeach

    Col. Mason. No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued. Shall any man be above Justice? Above all shall that man be above it, who can commit the most extensive injustice? When great crimes were committed he was for punishing the principal as well as the Coadjutors. There had been much debate & difficulty as to the mode of chusing the Executive. He approved of that which had been adopted at first, namely of referring the appointment to the Natl. Legislature. One objection agst. Electors was the danger of their being corrupted by the Candidates: & this furnished a peculiar reason in favor of impeachments whilst in office. Shall the man who has practised corruption & by that means procured his appointment in the first instance, be suffered to escape punishment, by repeating his guilt?

    Docr. Franklin was for retaining the clause as favorable to the executive. History furnishes one example only of a first Magistrate being formally brought to public Justice. Every body cried out agst this as unconstitutional. What was the practice before this in cases where the chief Magistrate rendered himself obnoxious? Why recourse was had to assassination in wch. he was not only deprived of his life but of the opportunity of vindicating his character. It wd. be the best way therefore to provide in the Constitution for the regular punishment of the Executive when his misconduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal when he should be unjustly accused.

    Mr. Govr Morris admits corruption & some few other offences to be such as ought to be impeachable; but thought the cases ought to be enumerated & defined:

    Mr. 〈Madison〉 — thought it indispensable that some provision should be made for defending the Community agst the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate. The limitation of the period of his service, was not a sufficient security. He might lose his capacity after his appointment. He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation [66] or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers. The case of the Executive Magistracy was very distinguishable, from that of the Legislative or of any other public body, holding offices of limited duration. It could not be presumed that all or even a majority of the members of an Assembly would either lose their capacity for discharging, or be bribed to betray, their trust. Besides the restraints of their personal integrity & honor, the difficulty of acting in concert for purposes of corruption was a security to the public. And if one or a few members only should be seduced, the soundness of the remaining members, would maintain the integrity and fidelity of the body. In the case of the Executive Magistracy which was to be administered by a single man, loss of capacity or corruption was more within the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the Republic.

    Mr. Pinkney did not see the necessity of impeachments. He was sure they ought not to issue from the Legislature who would in that case hold them as a rod over the Executive and by that means effectually destroy his independence. His revisionary power in particular would be rendered altogether insignificant.

    Mr. Gerry urged the necessity of impeachments. A good magistrate will not fear them. A bad one ought to be kept in fear of them. He hoped the maxim would never be adopted here that the chief Magistrate could do 〈no〉 wrong.

    Mr. King expressed his apprehensions that an extreme caution in favor of liberty might enervate the Government we were forming. He wished the House to recur to the primitive axiom that the three great departments of Govts. should be separate & independent: that the Executive & Judiciary should be so as well as the Legislative: that the Executive should be so equally with the Judiciary. Would this be the case if the Executive should be impeachable? It had been said that the Judiciary would be impeachable. But it should have been remembered at the same time that the Judiciary hold their places9 not for a limited time, but during good [67] behaviour. It is necessary therefore that a forum should be established for trying misbehaviour. Was the Executive to hold his place during good behaviour?10 — The Executive was to hold his place for a limited term like the members of the Legislature; Like them particularly the Senate whose members would continue in appointmt the same term of 6 years. he would periodically be tried for his behaviour by his electors, who would continue or discontinue him in trust according to the manner in which he had discharged it. Like them therefore, he ought to be subject to no intermediate trial, by impeachment. He ought not to be impeachable unless he hold his office during good behavior, a tenure which would be most agreeable to him; provided an independent and effectual forum could be devised; But under no circumstances ought he to be impeachable by the Legislature. This would be destructive of his independence and of the principles of the Constitution. He relied on the vigor of the Executive as a great security for the public liberties.

    Mr. Randolph. The propriety of impeachments was a favorite principle with him; Guilt wherever found ought to be punished. The Executive will have great opportunitys of abusing his power; particularly in time of war when the military force, and in some respects the public money will be in his hands. Should no regular punishment be provided, it will be irregularly inflicted by tumults & insurrections. He is aware of the necessity of proceeding with a cautious hand, and of excluding as much as possible the influence of the Legislature from the business. He suggested for consideration an idea which had fallen (from Col Hamilton) of composing a forum out of the Judges belonging to the States: and even of requiring some preliminary inquest whether just grounds of impeachment existed.

    Doctr. Franklin mentioned the case of the Prince of Orange during the late war. An agreement was made between France & Holland; by which their two fleets were to unite at a certain time & place. The Du〈t〉ch fleet did not appear. Every body [68] began to wonder at it. At length it was suspected that the Statholder was at the bottom of the matter. This suspicion prevailed more & more. Yet as he could not be impeached and no regular examination took place, he remained in his office, and strengtheing his own party, as the party opposed to him became formidable, he gave birth to the most violent animosities & contentions. Had he been impeachable, a regular & peaceable inquiry would have taken place and he would if guilty have been duly punished, if innocent restored to the confidence of the public.

    Mr. King remarked that the case of the Statholder was not applicable. He held his place for life, and was not periodically elected. In the former case impeachments are proper to secure good behaviour. In the latter they are unnecessary; the periodical responsibility11 to the electors12 being an equivalent security.

    Mr Wilson observed that if the idea were to be pursued, the Senators who are to hold their places during the same term with the Executive. ought to be subject to impeachment & removal.

    Mr. Pinkney apprehended that some gentlemen reasoned on a supposition that the Executive was to have powers which would not be committed to him: 〈He presumed〉 that his powers would be so circumscribed as to render impeachments unnecessary.

    Mr. Govr. Morris,’s opinion had been changed by the arguments used in the discussion. He was now sensible of the necessity of impeachments, if the Executive was to continue for any time in office. Our Executive was not like a Magistrate having a life interest, much less like one having an hereditary interest in his office. He may be bribed by a greater interest to betray his trust; and no one would say that we ought to expose ourselves to the danger of seeing the first Magistrate in foreign pay without being able to guard agst it by displacing him. One would think the King of England well secured agst bribery. He has as it were a fee [69] simple in the whole Kingdom. Yet Charles II was bribed by Louis XIV. The Executive ought therefore to be impeachable for treachery; Corrupting his electors, and incapacity were other causes of impeachment. For the latter he should be punished not as a man, but as an officer, and punished only by degradation from his office. This Magistrate is not the King but the prime-Minister. The people are the King. When we make him amenable to Justice however we should take care to provide some mode that will not make him dependent on the Legislature.

    〈It was moved & 2ded. to postpone the question of impeachments which was negatived. Mas. & S. Carolina only being ay.〉13

    On ye. Question, Shall the Executive be removeable on impeachments?

    Mas. no. Ct. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo-ay- [Ayes — 8; noes — 2.]

    Kevin M (19357e)

  52. Link in #47

    Kevin M (19357e)

  53. 44:

    I am a “mark” because:

    1. Paris Agreement dumped;
    2. No new wars;
    3. Gorsuch;
    4. Stuck with Kav;
    5. Slapped some barrier to endless Blue Sate debt with new SALT limit;
    6. limited the ability to claim “refugee” status from political violence, domestic violence, road rage, etc., et. al.,
    7. capped the number of benefit hungry refugees that need to be deposited in US cities;
    8. Clawed back million from the Palestinians;
    9. Stopped attending the WH Press dinner;
    10. Kept Hillary out of the WH;
    11. Does not pretend that 16 y/o Swede’s are oracles;
    and…

    Wait. My gratitude for which of these makes me the mark?

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  54. Judge never addresses the more important question – whether the release of the tax returns is even relevant.

    Relevance wasn’t the argument from Trump’s attorney’s.

    The payment to Stormy is known – ie the date of transfer of money – So why is nine years relevant when only a single date/year is relevant.

    This is not the limit of the investigation, their are many ongoing; Trump org, Stormy, Trump foundation.

    The second point – How are the federal agents going to find out if a single expenditure is deducted on the tax return without the underlying financial records? Do they really think there will be a one line description of an expense titled “payoff to bimbo”?

    A) This is New York State so has no federal agents involved. B) If there isn’t documentation, then that’s your problem right there.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  55. 5. Slapped some barrier to endless Blue Sate debt with new SALT limit;

    Slapped every upper-middle-class family and quite a few middle-class families with higher taxes. Even in Texas, which has property tax rates that Californians would consider extreme.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  56. His taxes seem less important right now….

    Trump issued a threat to Turkey today on Twitter, indicating that if it “does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.”

    As he abandoned our ally, the Kurds, in yet another gift to Putin.

    noel (f22371)

  57. 50:

    Fewer people every year hold judges in high regard.

    Decades of lax sentences prompted voter outrage and 3 Strikes laws.

    The 9th Circuit, plainly opposed to the death penalty, issued stay after stay of an execution, on endless flimsy arguments, until the USSC stepped in to stop that circus (People v. Robert Alton Harris).

    SF based Judge Tigar issues serial nationwide injunctions, on what some say is a belief that federal judges have a blue-pencil veto power over policies they don’t like.

    Besides, the people you speak of do not care about the regard in which people hold judges. In the 30’s they threatened to pack the courts to get what they wanted. Now they write articles asking if the court’s prestige will “survive” a vote to let the census count the # of illegals here, and savaging Thomas and Kavanagh.

    Just like Reid dumped the filibuster in 2013, they feel courts exist as a one way rachet for policies they want.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  58. 57:

    They can’t endlessly deduct increasing state taxes anymore. Or hope they die before the sate has to seek help from the Feds.

    They may have to do something about it–like go out to vote against the next proposed state tax bill.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  59. well the previous wave of sanctions, did a number on their economy,

    narciso (d1f714)

  60. Slapped every upper-middle-class family and quite a few middle-class families with higher taxes. Even in Texas, which has property tax rates that Californians would consider extreme.

    When we were choosing a new place from the Bay Area I was shocked at what taxes in Dallas county were. 30% the home price, 100% of the taxes.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  61. @59: It’s not about judges. It’s about the law. And, it’s about the moron in the WH.

    That’s why we need a smart president (think Warren, even Biden) who will appoint hundreds of moron judges over four/eight years.

    Munroe (f2f14e)

  62. Well, in states that have no state income tax their government and services must somehow still be funded. Real and/or personal property taxes, estate tax, sales taxes, fuel taxes, hotel/entertainment taxes, etc. will naturally be somewhat higher in various ratios to make up the difference.
    The real issue, it seems to me, would be how profligate any state’s government is with tax money, whatever the source.

    ColoComment (27e48b)

  63. the real issue is that my Tax bill under the new system wasn’t lower. So from my perspective I didn’t get a tax cut, and the deficit went up.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  64. “the office is investigating the Stormy Daniels payment”

    What exactly is being investigated? What is the crime? NDA’s are illegal? That cant be right. The corporate world is awash in them. Lawyers reach settlements everyday, almost all have a NDA attached.
    Violation of Election Law? That is federal law, not state. The SNDY passed on prosecution of the payment. I struggle to find the State crime investigated.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  65. the real issue is that my Tax bill under the new system wasn’t lower. So from my perspective I didn’t get a tax cut, and the deficit went up.

    My federal tax under the new law was $10,000 higher than it would otherwise have been, due to the undeductibility of CA cap gains on the sale of my home. That was high enough to notice.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  66. Here’s the thing. If Cy “The Toad” Vance could not subpoena from the IRS, he should not be able to subpoena them from Trump’s accountants or Trump himself. That’s the argument to make.

    But you know, when a toad fights a scorpion, I don’t even want to watch let alone care who wins, if you ‘noraimean.

    nk (dbc370)

  67. 37. ColoComment (27e48b) — 10/7/2019 @ 11:16 am

    I’ll suggest that Trump likely believed that he’d be able to rely on support and cooperation from his legislative Republican cohort,

    I don’t think he thought so.

    The whole Republican Party was saying “repeal and replace”

    So long as there were a few members of Cngress who treated that as plausibe,, Trrump would edorse it.

    First he claimed his new Sectreary of Health and Human Services would comw up with a plan. That surprised him because he didn;’t have an idea. Later, after some kind of discusson with others he said he never thought health care would be so hard.

    Nuking the ACA would leave some people worse off and there were some prvisios peole liked.

    There were complicated plans. It isa real conudrum because you can’t even give peoe the same amount of money. You need patient choice and you need incentives to save mone.

    Sammy Finkelman (0d0ca8)

  68. 66. iowan2 (9c8856) — 10/7/2019 @ 2:59 pm

    . I struggle to find the State crime investigated.

    I tnk it;s falsifyin business records.

    When the Trump Organization reimbursed the parent company of the NAtional Enquirer for the money they had paid Karen McDougal, did they account for it correctly?

    It was not a business expense. It was income to Donald Trump. Even if they managed to put it into teh proper categories, was it truthful?

    How you get from that to 8 years of tax returns I don’t know. Possibly there were other insances when the Trump Organization was used to pay non business expenses like this.

    Sammy Finkelman (0d0ca8)

  69. UPDATE: The order has been stayed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which has set a very expedited briefing schedule. A stay is perfectly normal, by the way, and does not mean the Second Circuit plans to reverse.

    I should add, to make Popehat happy on Twitter, that technically it’s not “Trump” who has to turn over the tax returns. It’s the accounting firm to which the subpoena was directed. I don’t think the headline is really that far off, though, as a practical matter.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  70. #56 – The case is being tried in Federal court, not NY state court.

    joe (debac0)

  71. Instapundit usually prefaces these type of posts with
    “Unexpectedly..”
    That defense was the best anyone at SDNY was up to. I’m just shocked they didn’t bring in Sid Blumenthal to ghost write it… maybe that explains it

    Or maybe they rewrote it to delete the mental incompetence defense they choose first

    Trump will try to move it through the courts until he wins.

    steveg (354706)

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