New Presidential contender and former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, told a crowd of cheering delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, “I know a con man when I see one.”
Bloomberg’s words are about to be vindicated, as appeals courts in both Washington, DC, and New York last week rejected Trump’s requests that they block the release of the President’s tax returns.
House Democrats have a “really strong argument” that the law requires the Trump administration to turn over the president’s tax returns, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, said Wednesday in DC, even as he urged Congress and the executive branch to resolve the dispute outside of court, The Washington Post reported.
The hot-button case is District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr.’s criminal probe in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan.
Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said Trump would ask the Supreme Court to overturn the decision the three-judge panel issued last Monday.
Deutsche Bank and Stormy Daniels
The Second Circuit ruled unanimously that Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, must hand over eight years of his returns to New York prosecutors.
Meanwhile, the subpoenas issued by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Intelligence Committee seek Trump’s individual income tax returns, and returns for a number of his business holdings, including Mar-a-Lago.
The House is also seeking records from Trump’s primary lender, Deutsche Bank, which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has refused to hand over.
In New York, Cy Vance is probing the Trump Organization’s hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, who was paid $130,000 by Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, whom Trump repaid during the 2016 campaign.
Playboy model Karen McDougal received $150,000 for her longer-term affair with Donald Trump, which began soon after he married Melania in 2005, in a catch-and-kill scheme orchestrated by the Trump-friendly National Enquirer.
Cohen pleaded guilty in August, 2018, to campaign finance violations and other crimes for delivering the cash.
Cohen is now “singing” to Vance’s legal team while serving a three-year federal criminal sentence at Otisville Federal Correctional Institution, called a “cushy prison,” where Cohen’s become a celebrity.
The Chief’s Judicial Restraint
Commenting on the New York case, Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law professor, writes in Bloomberg News, “Trump’s lawyers will soon ask the Supreme Court for “temporary absolute immunity from any criminal investigation while he’s in office.”
“The federal appeals court issued an extremely cautious, narrow opinion targeted straight at Roberts,” Feldman writes, as The Chief is a staunch advocate of judicial restraint.
“If it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more,” is The Chief’s oft-quoted saying.
“A narrow ruling would avoid the presidential immunity question but still compel Trump’s accountant to obey a subpoena,” Feldman writes.
“The smart money says that, one way or another, he will take it.”