A federal judge has rejected President Donald Trump’s attempt to quash a subpoena for his tax returns as part of an investigation into hush payments to women who alleged affairs, which Trump long has denied.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office had subpoenaed Trump's accounting firm, Mazars, for eight years worth of the president's personal and business tax returns.
The investigation is looking into bank and tax fraud, according to previous court filings.
Trump had argued he had immunity against the subpoena, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that he was not immune from state criminal investigations.
While the the Supreme Court affirmed the subpoena, it allowed Trump to challenge certain parts of it. On Thursday, the judge rejected a challenge and on Friday denied the president’s request to stay his ruling.
“The President has not demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm,” Judge Victor Marrero said. “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.”
“Justice requires an end to this controversy,” Marrero wrote in his Friday ruling.
“The President claims that without a stay, he ‘will be deprived of any appellate review,’ ignoring the fact that he has, in fact, already sought relief from every level of our federal judicial system, and that relief was denied at every turn,” Marrero said.
Asked about the initial ruling at an Oval Office photo op Thursday, Trump said, “we’ll probably end up back at the Supreme Court," dismissing the legal battle as an extension of what he believes is a political “witch hunt."
"What the Supreme Court did do is say, if it's a fishing expedition, you -- my interpretation is essentially you don't have to do it. So, we'll probably end up back in the Supreme Court,” he said.
“This is a continuation of the most disgusting witch in the history of our country. All it is. The Supreme Court said a fishing expedition. This is the ultimate fishing expedition. Nobody has anything. We don't do things wrong,” Trump said. “This is a disgrace. This should never ever be allowed to happen again.”