Trump To Vance: I Would Prefer A Civil, Not Criminal Subpoena

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the press prior to a Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House July 31, 2020. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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August 10, 2020 12:46 p.m.

Attorneys for President Trump hit back in a Monday court filing at suggestions that the President is under investigation for fraud, saying that the allegations only meet the bar for civil wrongdoing.

“Many of the allegations in the District Attorney’s extraneous sources that form the basis of his invitation to imagine an investigation broad enough to justify this subpoena, relate to civil, not criminal, conduct,” attorneys for the President wrote in a footnote as part of a broader attempt to prevent a criminal subpoena issued for the President’s financial records from going forward.

Trump is trying to block a subpoena obtained by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance for his financial records, held by accounting firm Mazars USA LLP.

The Supreme Court last month struck down a previous round of arguments from Trump that his status as President rendered the subpoena unenforceable, but remanded the case back to the district court while giving Trump leave to raise further objections.

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Since then, Trump has claimed that the subpoena is “wildly overbroad.” And with Vance’s suggestion last week that press reports documenting fraud allegations against the Trump organization fit within the scope of the district attorney’s probe, Trump claimed again that there was no basis for an investigation based out of New York City.

“In other words, the subpoena reaches so far and so comprehensively beyond New York’s borders (and any conceivable conduct related to New York) — again, unsurprising given that it was drafted to pursue purely national and international ends — that there is a near certainty it sweeps in categories of irrelevant information,” attorneys for the President wrote.

Criminal subpoenas are almost never litigated, partly out of deference that the courts typically grant to prosecutors.

In this case, as part of a bid to block a probe that could unearth his tax returns, Trump has managed to raise argument after argument that has resulted in a delay of the investigation.

Read the filing here:

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