A federal judge knocked the Department of Justice (DOJ) stance that a sitting president can’t be indicted in a Monday ruling that dismissed President Trump’s lawsuit challenging a New York subpoena to turn over his tax returns.
Judge Victor Marrero, a former President Clinton appointee, said legal weight had been given to DOJ memos making the claim that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
“Accordingly, the theory has gained a certain degree of axiomatic acceptance, and the DOJ Memos which propagate it have assumed substantial legal force as if their conclusion were inscribed on constitutional tablets so-etched by the Supreme court,” Marrero wrote as part of the 75-page ruling.
“The Court considers such popular currency for the categorical concept and its legal support as not warranted.”
Marrero said the reliance on the DOJ memos is “misplaced for several reasons,” including that their conclusions that a sitting president cannot be indicted are based on “an unqualified abstract doctrine asserting a generalized principle” rather than from “a real case presenting real facts.”
“Because the constitutional text and history on point are scant and inconclusive, the DOJ Memos construct a doctrinal foundation and structure to support a presidential immunity theory that substantially relies on suppositions, practicalities, and public policy, as well as conjurings of remote prospects and hyperbolic horrors about the consequences to the Presidency and the nation as a whole that would befall under any model of presidential immunity other than the categorical rule on which the DOJ Memos and the President’s claim ultimately rest,” he wrote.
Trump’s lawyers filed an emergency notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit after the ruling was released, while Trump tweeted criticism shortly after it came out.
“The Radical Left Democrats have failed on all fronts, so now they are pushing local New York City and State Democrat prosecutors to go get President Trump. A thing like this has never happened to any President before. Not even close!” he tweeted.