Trump tells judge he will keep fighting Vance tax subpoena

Bob Van Voris

President Donald Trump told a judge that he will continue to challenge a grand jury subpoena seeking his tax filings after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled he is not immune from investigation.

The high court ruled last week against Trump’s attempt to block a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to the Mazars accounting firm, saying the president did not have absolute immunity from state grand jury investigations. The case was send back to a federal judge in Manhattan, with the instruction that Trump could raise objections that any recipient of a subpoena might advance.

President Donald Trump speaks during a law enforcement briefing in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Washington.

The filing on Wednesday, a joint status report by Trump and Vance, paint a picture of the two opposing strategies in the battle over the subpoena.

The president said 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.” He also wants to be able to explore facts that will go to Vance’s motivation.

Vance, on the other hand, is calling on the court to move expeditiously and with the understanding, as the Supreme Court said last week, that Trump stands “in nearly the same situation” as any other individual confronting a prosecutor’s subpoena.

Both sides say that Trump can file his additional claims by July 27 and ask for a court conference on Aug. 5.

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

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. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero is holding a hearing on Thursday.

In the court filing, Trump’s team said they may claim the subpoena is too broad, that it was motivated by a desire to harass the president, that it was issued as an act of political retaliation or that it would interfere with his constitutional duties.