President Donald Trump on Monday filed a new challenge to the Manhattan district attorney’s subpoena for his tax returns, weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court said the president was not immune from state criminal probes.
U.S. President Donald Trump wears a protective face mask during a tour of the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies' Innovation Center, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant where components for a potential coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine candidate Novavax are being developed, in Morrrisville, North Carolina, U.S., July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos BarriaIn a second amended complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, Trump’s lawyers argued that the subpoena was “wildly overbroad,” and was issued in “bad faith” and amounts to “harassment.”
The subpoena “is so sweeping that it amounts to an unguided and unlawful ‘fishing expedition’ into the President’s personal and financial dealings,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the complaint.
Trump, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 3, asked the court to declare the subpoena invalid.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance last August issued the grand jury subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, demanding eight years of his business and personal returns and other documents as part of an investigation involving Trump and the Trump Organization, his family’s real estate business.
On July 9, the Supreme Court in a 7-2 vote rejected his argument that he was immune from state criminal probes while in the White House. The high court said, however, that Trump could challenge the subpoena on other grounds.
In the newly amended complaint, Trump’s lawyers say Vance is demanding documents that relate to topics beyond New York jurisdiction, and argue the subpoena was issued in bad faith because it mirrors a congressional subpoena.
Vance’s investigation began after reports that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 for her silence before the 2016 election about sexual encounters with Trump, which he has denied.
Carey Dunne, general counsel for Vance, on July 16 warned U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero against allowing Trump to delay long enough to get beyond statutes of limitations. [L2N2EN1CW]
Even if Vance prevails, grand jury secrecy rules make it unlikely Trump’s financial records will become public soon. But that could change if charges are filed against other defendants.