Trump renews fight to block New York subpoena for his tax returns

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President Donald Trump renewed his fight to prevent a New York grand jury from reviewing his tax filings, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled he doesn’t have absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

Lawyers for Trump filed a new complaint on Monday raising objections to a subpoena sent by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to the president’s accounting firm Mazars USA. Vance is investigating hush-money payments made before the 2016 presidential election to Stormy Daniels, a porn actress who claims she had an affair with Trump.

“The Mazars subpoena is wildly overbroad and is not remotely confined to the grand jury investigation that began in 2018,” the president said in the court filing. He said Vance’s request was made “in bad faith” because it sought “irrelevant records” with a subpoena that “amounts to harassment of the president.”

Vance’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The case is back before U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, whose October ruling was upheld on appeal, though the Supreme Court said Trump could make objections like anyone else who challenges a subpoena for records.

Trump may have difficulty convincing Marrero that the subpoena is too burdensome, as it requires that his accounting firm, Mazars USA, rather than the president, produce the documents.

The president told Marrero in a July 15 court filing that he may want to litigate numerous issues, including “why the state wants the information; why and how much the state needs the information, including whether the State could obtain the information elsewhere; and whether compliance with the subpoena would unduly burden or interfere with a president’s official duties.” Trump wants to be able to explore facts that will reveal Vance’s motives.

Vance is calling on the court to move quickly, arguing that the Supreme Court ruling means that Trump stands “in nearly the same situation” as any other individual confronting a prosecutor’s subpoena.

The litigation may add weeks or months of delay to when Vance will receive Trump’s tax filings, possibly until after the November election. His office is barred by grand jury secrecy laws from making the information public.

The case is Trump v. Vance, 19-cv-08694, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Bloomberg News