President Trump’s personal attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to block a Manhattan prosecutor’s subpoena of his accounting firm.
The lawsuitis a broad attack on the efforts by the local prosecutor to investigate Trump while he is in the White House. Trump’s attorneys are positioning the subpoena dispute as a test case that could secure a ruling declaring that all criminal investigations into a sitting president are unconstitutional.
A copy of the lawsuit is not yet available on the federal judiciary’s website but was obtained by CNN
It was reported earlier this week that the office of Cy Vance
It appears that the subpoena
Trump’s personal attorneys had previously brought lawsuits seeking
While those cases focused on the legality of congressional investigations into Trump
“Because the Mazars subpoena attempts to criminally investigate a sitting President, it is unconstitutional,” the new complaint said
With the longstanding Justice Department opinion that federal prosecutors are unable to bring criminal cases against a sitting president — an opinion that constrained special counsel Robert Mueller’s ability to say whether Trump illegally obstructed justice in his probe — more attention has been paid to the ability to state and local prosecutors to hold Trump to account for potentially criminal acts
Thursday’s lawsuit acknowledged that “no court has had to squarely consider the question” of whether criminal investigations into a President were unconstitutional
It instead leaned on the assessments of legal commentators who have questioned the constitutionality of a criminal prosecution of a sitting president
The complaint pointed specifically to the role of impeachment that is outlined in the Constitution
For a court to permit criminal investigations into a sitting president “would allow a single prosecutor to circumvent the Constitution’s specific rules for impeachment” Trump’s personal attorneys said
“[T]he Constitution prohibits States from subjecting the President to criminal process while he is in office,” the lawsuit said
Additionally, Trump’s lawyers echoed arguments they’ve made in other court cases alleging that New York prosecutors are being motivated by a partisan desire to harass and embarrass the president
According to the new lawsuit, Trump’s attorneys attempted to negotiate with Vance and he refused to narrow the subpoena