The district attorney of Manhattan has urged a judge to reject the “sweeping immunity” sought by President Donald Trump in a bid to avoid having to provide his tax returns in an ongoing criminal probe. Trump’s lawyer has stated that the case is little more than a bad faith effort to harass the president as pressure from all sides accumulates in the run up to 2020.
District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. recently filed documents in a federal court in response to Trump’s attorneys initiating a lawsuit against Vance to stop him from trying to force the president’s accounting firms to provide Trump’s tax returns. This includes returns on both state and federal levels, from between four years prior to his election and the present day, ABC News reported.
The two individuals subpoenaed were women who both claimed to have had affairs with Trump — fashion model, Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels — a fact that no doubt bolsters claims made by Trump’s lawyers that the criminal probe is little more than harassment. Trump’s lawyers have requested only to make the subpoena unenforceable until the president leaves office.
Vance requested that U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that if it belongs anywhere, it belongs in the state court rather than the district. The judge has scheduled oral arguments to take place this coming Wednesday.
The subpoenas sought information for an investigation of records related to payments made by Trump’s previous lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is currently serving a three-year prison sentence under the charges of campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress. The money was allegedly paid in return for the silence of the two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump. Trump denies having sexual relations with either of them, stating that the payments were not campaign expenses but for were for “personal matters.”
The court papers filed by Vance stated that whether or not the president can be indicted isn’t the question, but rather if a sitting president can block a subpoena.
“Here, the question is not whether a state prosecutor can indict a sitting President,” the papers said. “Instead, the issue is whether a third party, having been duly served with a state grand jury subpoena seeking the books and records of a number of individuals and corporate entities, including those of the President, must comply with the subpoena.”
Vance argues that no such kind of “sweeping immunity” is provided by the law to a sitting president and that Trump is asserting his “remarkable position” in ways that are unjust, per AP News.
The Republican National Committee, as well as Trump’s campaign team, have also launched lawsuits in California’s Sacramento Federal Court in a bid to fight a new law in the state that requires all presidential candidates to make available five years of tax returns that would then appear in California’s 2020 primary ballot. A hearing will take place on Thursday to decide. It appears that Trump’s recent pledge to solve California’s problems with homelessness, per The Inquisitr, is yet to win over the state.