Trump files new challenge to New York subpoena for his tax returns

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U.S. President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after landing aboard Marine One at the White House July 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Monday filed a new challenge to the Manhattan District Attorney’s subpoena for his tax returns, weeks after the United States Supreme Court said the president was not immune state criminal investigations.

In a second amended complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, Trump’s lawyers argued that the subpoena was “excessively broad” and was issued in “bad faith” and amounted to “harassment.”

The subpoena “is so drastic that it amounts to an unguided and illegal ‘fishing expedition’ in the president’s personal and financial dealings,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the complaint.

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Trump, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 3, has asked the court to declare the subpoena invalid.

Last August, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance issued the grand jury summons to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, demanding eight years of his business and personal statements and other documents in connection with ‘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 investigations while in the White House. The High Court said, however, that Trump could challenge the subpoena on other grounds.

In the recently amended lawsuit, Trump’s attorneys say Vance is demanding documents related to matters outside New York’s jurisdiction and claim the summons was issued in bad faith because it reflects a congressional summons.

Vance’s investigation began after reports that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid pornographic actress Stormy Daniels $ 130,000 for his silence ahead of the 2016 election over sex with Trump, what he 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 exceed the statute of limitations.

Even if Vance wins, the rules of grand jury secrecy make it unlikely that Trump’s financial records will become public anytime soon. But that could change if charges were laid against other defendants.

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