President Donald Trump urged a judge to block a New York grand jury from reviewing his tax filings and disputed a suggestion by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. that the panel may be looking into bank and insurance fraud by the Trump Organization.
Lawyers for Trump filed court papers on Monday opposing a request by Vance that a federal judge in Manhattan throw out the president’s latest bid to block the subpoena to his 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, and possibly other matters related to the Trump Organization. Trump has denied the affair.
President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing from Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, N.J., Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. (Photo: Susan Walsh, AP)
In a filing last week, Vance suggested there might be grounds to look at potential fraud by the Trump Organization beyond the Stormy Daniels payment, citing newspaper articles and court records filed earlier in the case. In Monday’s filing, Trump’s team took issue with his implication of a wider investigation.
“If the district attorney convened the grand jury in order to investigate allegations discussed in these articles, he could’ve said so,” Trump’s lawyers argued. “But the bare fact that there were public allegations of possible criminal activity,’ which is all these citations show, provides no insight into whether the grand jury is in fact investigating them and whether they were a basis for issuing this subpoena.”
The dueling court filings come after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Trump doesn’t have absolute immunity from state criminal investigations. Trump claims the subpoena was issued to Mazars in bad faith and that it seeks too much information, constituting harassment of the president.
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