Trump tax returns challenge, against Manhattan DA Vance’s subpoena.
President Trump’s lawyers told a federal court on Monday that a New York City prosecutor’s subpoena for his tax returns “amounts to harassment of the President” in a new legal challenge against the probe.
Trump’s lawyers argued in an amended lawsuit filed Monday that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office overstepped its authority by seeking eight years’ worth of tax returns and financial records from the president’s accounting firm.
“This is not a straightforward request to review specific business transitions; it is an overreaching demand designed to pick apart the President and each related entity from the inside out, without regard to the geographic limits of the District Attorney’s jurisdiction or the scope of the grand jury’s investigation,” Trump’s legal team wrote in the new complaint.
The complaint comes after the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, this month rejected Trump’s argument that the president has absolute immunity to the kind of local criminal investigation being pursued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
But the court’s majority said that the president can bring other legal challenges to the subpoenas or “avail himself of the same protections available to every other citizen, including the right to challenge the subpoena on any grounds permitted by state law, which usually include bad faith and undue burden or breadth.”
Vance’s office declined to comment when reached by The Hill.
The president’s legal team is now taking the Supreme Court’s cue, arguing in the federal district court in Manhattan that the district attorney’s subpoenas are nearly identical to ones issued by congressional committees investigating the president.
“It was drafted by a congressional committee purportedly to investigate issues of national concern,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “In other words, the District Attorney issued a grand-jury subpoena he knew was overbroad and sought irrelevant records.”
The Supreme Court also ruled 7-2 this month that the congressional subpoenas seeking Trump’s financial documents were overly broad and sent the cases back to the lower courts for further scrutiny.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has criticized Trump’s efforts to continue fighting the subpoena as a stalling tactic.
“What the president’s lawyers are seeking here is delay,” Carey Dunne, a lawyer with the district attorney’s office, said during a hearing earlier this month. “I think that’s the entire strategy. Every day that goes by, the president wins the type of absolute temporary immunity he’s been seeking in this case, even though he’s lost on that claim before every court that’s heard it, including now the Supreme Court.”
The prosecutors have until Aug. 10 to respond to the new legal challenges the president raised. It’s unclear when a ruling could be expected.