Trump deserves 'fair chance' to challenge subpoena for tax returns: filing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump made a final push to keep his tax returns away from Manhattan’s top prosecutor, as his lawyers said the U.S. president deserves a “fair chance” to show a subpoena for the returns was overbroad and issued in bad faith.

FILE PHOTO: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. speaks during a news conference in New York City, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid.

Trump’s lawyers made the argument on Thursday in a filing with the federal appeals court in Manhattan.

That court will hear oral arguments on Friday over whether Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance can enforce a grand jury subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA for eight years of his corporate and personal tax returns for a criminal probe.

Trump is appealing U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero’s Aug. 20 ruling allowing the subpoena’s enforcement.

That followed the president’s unsuccessful effort earlier this year to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court he was absolutely immune from criminal probes while in the White House.

Vance is conducting a probe into Trump and his businesses, which include the Trump Organization.

Citing news reports and public comments, the district attorney said on Monday he might have grounds to investigate Trump and his businesses for tax fraud, insurance fraud and falsifying business records.

Vance said last month that his probe also related to reports of possible bank fraud.

In Thursday’s filing, Trump said the fact tensions between Vance and the Trump Organization have reached a “fever pitch” made his allegations over the subpoena even more plausible.

“The District Attorney is … correct that, in this setting, there is no ‘absolute immunity from any legal process whatsoever,’” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “He just overlooks which party is actually seeking immunity at this point.”

All three judges on the appeals court panel were appointed by Democratic presidents, as was Marrero.

Even if the panel ruled against him, Trump could appeal again to the Supreme Court.

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