In an opinion today, Judge Vyskocil granted Fox News’s motion to dismiss a defamation claim centered on an episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight. In the episode, Carlson was responding to President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen having pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for arranging to pay settlements to two women alleged to have had affairs with Trump. Carlson was critical of media suggestions that Trump should be impeached or held criminally responsible for the payments:

Two women approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn’t give them money. Now, that sounds like a classic case of extortion. Yet, for whatever reason, Trump caves to it, and he directs Michael Cohen to pay the ransom. Now, more than two years later, Trump is a felon for doing this. It doesn’t seem to make any sense.

Judge Vyskocil ruled that, in context, this was not a literal accusation of extortion, but intended to frame the debate in the guest commentary segment that followed:
Continue Reading Judge Vyskocil: Tucker Carlson’s “Extortion” Jab Was Hyperbole, Not Defamation

In a 103-page opinion, Judge Marrero rejected President Trump’s latest attempt to block a grand jury subpoena issued to Trump’s accounting firm by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. In July, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that Trump could not obtain injunctive relief based on an assertion of categorical immunity from criminal process while in office. (See our previous coverage here.) On remand, Trump argued that the subpoena was overbroad and issued in bad faith.

Dismissing the amended complaint, Judge Marrero found that “the filing of the [amended complaint] to assert claims and reargue issues substantially addressed in earlier proceedings would prolong the President’s noncompliance with the grand jury’s demand for the documents in dispute.”
Continue Reading Judge Marrero Upholds Manhattan District Attorney’s Subpoena for Trump Tax Records

The Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the conclusion of both Judge Marrero and the Second Circuit (see our coverage here) that President Trump was not immune from a grand jury subpoena issued by the Manhattan District Attorney. Writing for a 7-2 majority, Chief Justice Roberts concluded that the immunity sought ran “against 200 years of precedent”:
Continue Reading Case Over DA Subpoena to Trump Returns from Supreme Court to Judge Marrero

In an order this week, Judge Schofield denied the motion by Donald Trump, the Trump Corporation, and other Trump family members to compel arbitration of claims related to the multi-level marketing scheme ACN (see our previous coverage here).  Defendants argued that, because the plaintiffs had agreed to arbitrate any claims they might have against ACN, the same arbitration clause should force arbitration of any claims against the Trump defendants related to their endorsement of ACN.

Judge Schofield found that the defendants had failed to show the required relatedness from the plaintiffs’ perspective between ACN and the Trump defendants in order to apply equitable estoppel:
Continue Reading Judge Schofield Denies Trump Defendants’ Motion to Compel Arbitration of Multi-Level Marketing Scheme Claims

Yesterday, Judge Schofield ruled that a claim for declaratory relief to prevent the White House and President Donald Trump from revoking or threatening to revoke White House press credentials could proceed.  The case was brought by PEN America Center, a nonprofit of association of media professionals, claiming that these threats chilled First Amendment rights for journalists (specifically CNN’s Jim Acosta) and also prevented PEN and its members from receiving information that would have been provided to the organization by these journalists.

The order found that the “Press Corps” claim, seeking declaratory relief on First Amendment grounds to prevent the White House from arbitrarily revoking press credentials, was properly pled:
Continue Reading Judge Schofield: Claims Over White House Revocation of Press Credentials and Security Clearances May Proceed

In a opinion today, the Second Circuit held that two financial institutions must comply with recent subpoenas issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Financial Services Committee seeking information related to the Trump Organization and Trump family businesses.  President Trump and others had filed a suit to prevent the banks from complying with the subpoenas (see our previous coverage here).

The Second Circuit affirmed in part Judge Ramos’ earlier denial of President Trump’s request for an injunction.  In part, the Second Circuit found that the public interest outweighed individual privacy concerns because the lead plaintiff was the President of the United States:
Continue Reading Second Circuit: Banks Must Comply with House Subpoena for Trump Financial Records

In an opinion this morning, the Second Circuit largely affirmed the decision by Judge Marrero (covered here) to allow the Manhattan DA to enforce a grand jury subpoena to President Trump’s accountants seeking (among other things) President Trump’s tax returns.

The Second Circuit acknowledged that the President, occupying “a unique position in the constitutional scheme,” could be shielded from certain types of judicial process, but concluded that a subpoena to his accountants did not merit that protection:
Continue Reading Second Circuit Refuses to Block Manhattan DA Subpoena to Trump for Tax Returns

In an opinion this morning, Judge Marrero dismissed President Trump’s lawsuit (see prior coverage here) seeking to block enforcement of a grand jury subpoena from the Manhattan District Attorney that seeks (among other things) Trump’s tax returns.

Judge Marrero concluded that, while presidents may enjoy some measure of immunity from criminal process in some circumstances, Trump’s “sweeping” claim of absolute immunity from any criminal process went too far:
Continue Reading Judge Marrero Rejects Trump’s “Sweeping” Claim to Immunity from DA Subpoena Over Tax Returns

In a complaint filed today (hat tip: Courthouse News), President Trump sued to enjoin the Manhattan District Attorney from enforcing a grand jury subpoena issued to his accountants seeking (among other things) various of President Trump’s tax returns.  President Trump also simultaneously sought a temporary restraining order, and the application will be heard by Judge Marrero next Wednesday.

The complaint alleges that President Trump is immune from all criminal process while in office, including a grand jury subpoena to a third party:
Continue Reading President Trump Sues to Halt Manhattan DA’s Grand Jury Subpoena for Tax Returns

In a decision July 24, Judge Schofield dismissed civil RICO claims against the Trump Organization and Trump family members, while allowing the remaining putative class claims to proceed.  The case (see our previous coverage here) alleged that Donald J. Trump, the Trump Organization, and members of the Trump family falsely promoted the multi-level-marketing scheme ACN, reaping millions of dollars in secret payments to promote the scheme that led to would-be entrepreneurs losing millions of dollars.

Continue Reading Judge Schofield Trims Claims in Multi-Level Marketing Scheme Class Action Against Trump Organization