Now that the Supreme Court has upheld a federal judge’s ruling that Donald Trump’s tax returns must be handed over to a New York grand jury, it doesn’t just automatically happen. The federal judge who made the original ruling has merely been given the go-ahead, and he still has to put it into motion. It turns out he’s apparently hot to trot.
Before anyone on either side of the case could even so much as get the paperwork in, Judge Victor Marrero has ordered both sides to immediately inform him of how they expect things to go forward from here, according to NBC News. In other words, he’s merely looking to quickly hear from both sides before he moves forward with the process of making the document turnover happen.
It’s important to note that Trump’s tax returns are already in the hands of Trump’s accounting firm Mazars, which has said it would comply with whatever the courts ended up deciding. So it’s not as if Trump can simply refuse to turn over his taxes and try to stall things that way; he can’t stop Mazars from complying. Considering how quickly the judge is looking to move, it seems highly likely that the New York District Attorney will have his hands on Trump’s taxes sooner rather than later. From there it’ll just be a question of how much time the DA needs to finds the crimes and money trail in Trump’s taxes, and then present that evidence to the grand jury.
To be as clear as possible, grand juries only exist for one reason: to criminally indict people. The fact that this grand jury subpoenaed Donald Trump’s taxes means that the grand jury is in the process of indicting Trump. It serves to underscore that if Trump loses the election, he’s going to prison – and state charges can’t be pardoned by the president. At the rate this matter is proceeding, it creates an opening for New York to indict Trump before the election – though it would be near impossible to arrest him while he’s still in office.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report