President Trump’s legal team urged the highest federal court on Nov. 14, to overrule a judicial requirement to disclose the president’s personal tax returns.
Lawyers acting for Donald Trump filed a request with the Supreme Court to block a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. (D) that could compromise Donald Trump’s privacy by revealing his tax returns dating back to the year 2011.
They describe any criminal probe of the president at the state or local level as unconstitutional and unprecedented in American history.
“Allowing the sitting president to be targeted for criminal investigation—and to be subpoenaed on that basis—would, like an indictment itself, distract him from the numerous and important duties of his office, intrude on and impair executive branch operations, and stigmatize the presidency,” American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said in a brief according to The Associated Press.
The legal action is speculated to potentially lead to a battle in the highest court. Such a case could produce a definitive ruling on whether a sitting president has a legal obligation to surrender personal tax returns, and if incumbent presidents can actually be prosecuted or investigated for alleged crimes.
Although lower courts have so far rejected Trump’s claims of immunity the president is still refusing to release his tax returns and hopes the Supreme Court will decide the case before the end of June 2020.
Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team is contesting in court a different House committee subpoena that is demanding to see Trump’s financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA. The firm has indicated it would produce the records if the court approves.
Manhattan district attorney spokesman Danny Frost confirmed with The Associated Press that Vance would make his own Supreme Court filing shortly.
Trump’s lawyers have accused Vance’s actions of being politically motivated.
The Department of Justice has intervened on Trump’s behalf in New York, and required Vance to prove “particularized need” for the records before they are released to a grand jury.
Trump previously appointed two judges to the nine-member Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh, 54, expressed gratitude and optimism during his first major public appearance at a dinner with more than 2,000 members of the Federalist Society at Washington’s Union Station.
The justice revealed his friends have “paid a heavy price, too heavy a price” for supporting him during what has been a very tumultuous time. He claimed friends have lost business, been insulted, and threatened since Trump officially appointed him to preside on the court.
“I’m well aware of that and it pains me daily,” Kavanaugh said according to The Associated Press.