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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit from President Trump that sought to block Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's subpoena for his financial records.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court ruled last month that presidents are not immune from investigation, denying Trump the sweeping grant of presidential power he had asked for. The court gave Vance the right to access records from Trump's financial institutions as part of a criminal investigation, but sent the case back down to the lower courts so that Trump's lawyers could continue to fight the subpoena.

Between the lines: In a disclosure earlier this month, the DA's office suggested for the first time that it's investigating Trump and his company for "alleged bank and insurance fraud."

  • The filing pointed to media reports about "possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization" to support Vance's argument about the legitimacy of the subpoena, which Trump's lawyers had argued was over-broad and issued in bad faith.
  • Previously, Vance was only thought to be investigating hush money payments that Trump made to women he allegedly had affairs with through his former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

What they're saying: U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, who had previously rebuked Trump's claims of "absolute immunity" in a ruling prior to the Supreme Court case, again skewered the case argued by the president's lawyers as "perilous to the rule of law."

  • "They declared that under their theory of temporary absolute immunity, even if the President (presumably any president) while in office were to shoot a person in the middle of New York’s Fifth Avenue, he or she would be shielded from law enforcement investigations and judicial proceedings of any kind, federal or state, until the expiration of the President’s term," Marrero wrote.
  • "As this Court suggested in its earlier ruling in this litigation, that notion, applied as so robustly proclaimed by the President’s advocates, is as unprecedented and far-reaching as it is perilous to the rule of law and other bedrock constitutional principles on which this country was founded and by which it continues to be governed."

What's next: Trump's lawyers will appeal the ruling, according to Bloomberg.

Read the ruling.

Go deeper

Chris Christie: Trump's legal challenges against election results have been "a national embarrassment"

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday denounced a lack of evidence in President Trump's legal challenges against election results as "a national embarrassment," emphasizing that Trump has had his chance to prove allegations of widespread voter fraud in court.

The big picture: Despite the president's legal challenges in various states gaining little to no ground, only a handful of congressional Republicans have acknowledged Biden as president-elect.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.